Monkeypox is now in SA: How does it spread, and what are the symptoms?

Only South Africa could end all of its remaining COVID restrictions *and* report its first case of Monkeypox on the same day: During a media briefing to announce the ditching of our last virus mitigation measures, Health Minister Joe Phaahla also confirmed SA now has a new ‘patient zero’.

Monkeypox in South Africa: Who is the first patient?

The person in question is a 30-year-old, Johannesburg-based male. He has no recent travel history, meaning that this infection was not acquired outside of South Africa, making this an official ‘community transmission’. So, is there any need to worry?

As rubbish as an outbreak of Monkeypox will be for those affected, the truth is that no-one in the scientific community is pushing the panic button just yet. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) will monitor the situation closely, though.

Contact tracing has commenced, identifying any additional linked cases of #monkeypox in SA.

— NICD (@nicd_sa) June 23, 2022

How does Monkeypox spread, and what are the symptoms?

The NICD have also put together a brief statement on Thursday, outlining everything you need to know about Monkeypox. We’ve picked out the six key points from this briefing, touching on everything from how the disease is spread, to what the most commonly-occurring symptoms are.

Monkeypox is almost exclusively spread by ‘person-to-person close contact’ – through intimate acts like kissing, cuddling, and sex.Symptoms include fever and general flu-like symptoms, followed by the eruption of a blister-like rash on the skin.Prevention measures include the isolation of a positive patient until recovered, and there are vaccine treatments available.The disease is rarely fatal, and cases typically resolve within two-to-four weeks. Hospital treatment is not usually needed.The risk to the general population is considered low, because Monkeypox isn’t highly transmissible.ANYONE can catch Monkeypox, if they have ‘close contact’ with someone infected.

The next COVID? No, not by a long shot…

The government is also doing its best to play down the threat of Monkeypox. Minister Phaahla has explained that the illness is ‘rather self-limiting’, with a fatality rate under 1%. Those of you with the ‘COVID jitters’ can now breathe easily…

“Monkeypox is usually a mild disease manifesting as a blisters on the skin. It is usually mild and self-limiting with a fatality rate of 1%. The current outbreak is dominated by high numbers in European countries. Cases have also been reported in the USA and Canada.”

Joe Phaahla

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