Calls for greater awareness of mpox in Tshwane after three cases

South Africa now has 13 confirmed cases of Mpox, previously known as Monkeypox. Graphic: Se-Anne Rall/IOL

South Africa now has 13 confirmed cases of Mpox, previously known as Monkeypox. Graphic: Se-Anne Rall/IOL

Published Jul 11, 2024


There have been at least three laboratory-confirmed mpox cases in the City of Tshwane, according to Health MMC, Dr Rina Marx.

She expressed concern about the prevalence of mpox in the city, calling for greater awareness about the importance of contact tracing to curb the infections.

“All Tshwane cases have been locally transmitted with no recorded travel history. The pronouncement by the national Department of Health of an outbreak of mpox in South Africa remains in effect as there are 20 confirmed cases nationally and 10 in Gauteng,” she said.

People suspecting that they might have contracted mpox must understand the importance of full disclosure to health authorities, close contacts and partners, she said.

This is because, mpox is a notifiable medical condition owing to its transmissibility and public health impact, she added.

Marx said: “Healthcare workers are required to report all suspected and confirmed cases.”

On the other hand, outbreak response teams are responsible for contact tracing in the event of a suspected or confirmed case.

“Contact tracing is an important surveillance tool and involves the process of identifying, assessing and managing people who have been exposed to someone who has been infected,” she said.

She explained that the purpose of contact tracing is to interrupt the transmission of the virus through identifying potential new cases before they might infect others.

“Contact tracing can assist with the early detection of an infected person to assist in the early provision of medical care and the necessary support,” she said.

Mpox is caused by a virus transmitted from an infected person to another through close contact with lesions, sexual contact, bodily fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials.

Marx said symptoms can include skin rashes or lesions, fever, muscle aches, back pain, low energy and swollen glands.

“These often present as flu-like symptoms. Laboratory tests are used to confirm an mpox infection.

“All population groups can be affected but health authorities consider some to be at a higher risk,” she said.

Pretoria News

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