South Africa has no cases of monkeypox, says the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), but the institute is equipped to test travelers if necessary.
Fifteen countries have more than 140 in total Cases of monkeypox reported monkeypox. Of the cases with available information, more than 70% were males, mostly between the ages of 20 and 55, and most were detected by sexual health services genitals or on perigenital areas. Additional symptoms include a rash, fever, tender lymph nodes, and mouth ulcers.
“Possible transmission between sexual partners can occur due to contact with infectious skin and mucosal lesions (including oral) during sex, since monkeypox was sexually transmitted not yet proven.”
Genital lesions were previously uncommon and reflect a unique aspect of this outbreak, the NICD said.
The first case of the outbreak was a traveler returning from Nigeria, an endemic area of monkeypox, back to Great Britain. Investigations have not been able to link this case to any of the other cases detected so far, suggesting that the virus has been introduced to the UK and other countries on multiple occasions, with cases possibly remaining undetected until now.
Close contact is required to transmit monkeypox, and the NICD believes the current outbreak is unlikely to become a global emergency.
“The implications for SA are the risk of introducing monkeypox is a reality, the lessons of Covid-19 have shown that outbreaks in another part of the world can quickly become a global problem,” said NICD Executive Director Prof. Adrian Puren.
The NICD said it will continuously assess the risk of local introduction and transmission in collaboration with the national Department of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) in line with internal national health regulations.
Dr. Jacqueline Weyer, of the Special Division of Viral Pathogens at the Center for Emerging Zoonotic and Parasitic Diseases, said that the NICD was equipped to test for monkeypox because the center had diagnostic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and electron microscopy capabilities /span >
The NICD sequencing core facility will work to rapidly provide sequencing analysis should a case be identified to determine relatedness to the outbreak strain.< /p>
< span>Puren said that for travelers entering South Africa, any illness en route or upon return from an endemic area should be reported to a healthcare professional, including information on recent travel, vaccination history and contact with known cases.
Residents and travelers in endemic countries should avoid contact with sick animals carrying monkeypox virus b such as rodents, marsupials and primates, and should refrain from eating or handling game.
In the past, vaccination against the eradicated smallpox has been shown to protect against monkeypox.
Smallpox vaccination is offered to higher-risk contacts, but global availability of vaccines is a challenge.
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