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WATCH: Monkeypox: here's what South Africans need to know

FILE (AP Photo/(Arlington Heights) Daily Herald, Tanit Jarusan)

FILE (AP Photo/(Arlington Heights) Daily Herald, Tanit Jarusan)

Published May 23, 2022

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Cape Town: While South Africa and the rest of the world continue to make strides in recovering from the Covid-19 global pandemic, a new crisis has hit Europe in the form of monkeypox, leaving many in Africa uncertain.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the monkeypox outbreak has infected more than 100 people in about 15 countries including Britain, Portugal, Spain and the US.

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During his address to the UN's World Health Assembly in Geneva on Sunday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world was not over the pandemic which has claimed six million lives, with the addition of the monkeypox virus and several other disease outbreaks, such as acute hepatitis in children and Ebola, taking place.

During his visit to Asia on Sunday, US President Joe Biden said everybody should be worried about the spread of monkeypox, with his national security adviser assuring the US public that it had a vaccine ready to treat the virus.

“They haven’t told me the level of exposure yet but it is something that everybody should be concerned about,” said Biden.

South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed that there were no cases of monkeypox in South Africa and milder cases of monkeypox might go undetected which represented a risk of person-to-person transmission.

“The implications for South Africa are that the risk of importation of monkeypox is a reality as lessons learnt from Covid-19 have illustrated that outbreaks in another part of the world can fast become a global concern,” says NICD executive director Professor Adrian Puren.

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