Monkeypox is a viral infection that causes fever and other non-specific symptoms a week or two after exposure, followed by a rash with lesions that usually last for 2-4 weeks before drying up, crusting, and falling off.
While monkeypox can cause a large number of lesions, some patients in the current outbreak only have a single lesion in the mouth or on the genitals, making it difficult to distinguish from other infections.
Prior to the current outbreak, 1-3 percent of people with known infections died (without treatment). Cases in children and people with compromised immune systems are more likely to be severe.
What causes Monkeypox in South Africa?
Monkeypox spreads through close, personal contact, often skin-to-skin. Direct contact with rashes or body fluids from an infected person, touching objects and fabrics used by someone with monkeypox, or respiratory secretions can all spread the disease.
Given the disease’s unexpected and wide geographical spread, the actual number of cases is likely to be underestimated.
While anyone can contract monkeypox, the vast majority of confirmed cases outside of Africa’s endemic regions have occurred in young or middle-aged men who have sex with men (MSM) who have recently had sexual contact with new or multiple partners.
Monkeypox in South Africa
In South Africa, Monkeypox has caused severe damage. The monkeypox virus is still a source of concern in South Africa, according to Health Minister Joe Phaahla, and this is due to the country’s increasing number of cases.
Monkeypox in South Africa is being tackled by the government in the best possible way as the total number of Monkeypox infections recorded in South Africa is five.
Out of the five, four cases had been minor infections from which everyone had recovered and one of them was a tourist from Switzerland who had already returned home. A private laboratory confirmed that the fifth case is also very mild.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has not recommended any travel restrictions, but those planning to travel should proceed with extreme caution.
Monkeypox Vaccines in South Africa
Although there were three monkeypox vaccines available worldwide, none were available in South Africa.
What scientists are saying about Monkeypox in South Africa
Scientists have advised that there is no need for mass vaccinations at this time because the situation is under control. The government is currently collaborating with South African scientists to ensure the safety of all South Africans.