Ladysmith man dies of Mpox as number of cases rise to 16

The Department of Health confirmed that one person has died from the Mpox virus. File Picture

The Department of Health confirmed that one person has died from the Mpox virus. File Picture

Published Jun 26, 2024


The Department of Health has confirmed that another person has died from the Mpox virus.

In addition there have been three more positive cases recorded, bringing the total number of infections to 16 in the country.

According to the Department, a 40-year-old male from Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal presented with Mpox-like symptoms, including rash all over his body and never presented in hospital.

“He passed on at home and the results came back positive for Mpox on June 23, 2024,” said national Department of Health spokesperson Foster Mohale.

He said the other two cases were confirmed in Gauteng.

This includes a 43-year-old man who was diagnosed on June 22, 2024 at a local private health facility in Johannesburg, and a 29-year-old male diagnosed at a Mamelodi health facility on June 21, 2024.

“They presented with symptoms indicative of disease and had no international travel history.”

Mohale said this brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases of Mpox in South Africa to 16 since the outbreak of the disease in May 2024.

The Department said all the cases affected males who are aged between 23 and 43.

Eight cases are from KwaZulu-Natal, seven cases are from Gauteng, and one from Western Cape.

So far, three people have lost their lives to the Mpox virus.

“The department, working with provinces and other stakeholders in the sector, has embarked on health education with funeral parlours on how to handle the human remains of demised due to suspected and confirmed Mpox.”

Mohale said the Department would like to allay fears of possible travel restrictions or lock-downs due to the Mpox outbreak.

“The World Health Organization has not recommended any travel restrictions. However, it is important for travellers from Mpox endemic countries to seek health care if they are ill and to alert health officials about their travel for clinical guidance.”

The Department urged those with symptoms to report to their nearest healthcare facility.

“Anyone can contract Mpox regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation and race.”

The Department reminded citizens that Mpox is preventable and manageable, and treatment for both mild and severe cases is available.

“People at high risk include those living with chronic conditions such as HIV, TB and diabetes.”

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