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Second Mpox case confirmed – officials warn against stigmatization

By Vaseline May27,2024

Addington Hospital in Durban has confirmed the second case of Mpox in South Africa in three weeks.

The Ahmed Kathrada Hospital in Johannesburg recorded its first Mpox case on May 8, with the patient coming from Savana City at De Deur.

Mpox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus that may cause a painful or itchy rash such as pimples or blisters.

READ ALSO: New case of monkeypox confirmed at Ahmed Kathrada Hospital

The Ministry of Health has urged members of the public who believe they have contracted the disease to visit their healthcare provider to get tested.

Are the things connected?

Like the first patient, the 39-year-old man from Durban has no recent travel history. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has begun contract tracing to confirm whether the two cases are in any way linked.

The World Health Organization recorded 466 cases of Mpox from 22 different countries in March 2024. Of those 466, only three deaths have been confirmed, but the Ministry of Health has asked for caution and understanding.

“Stigma and discrimination can prolong a disease outbreak. We urge the public and communities to support those who tested positive for Mpox to receive treatment and those with suspected symptoms to get screened and tested rather than discriminate,” said Foster Mohale, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health.

Flu transmissions as expected

South Africa is one month into its flu season and the department and NICD confirmed the disease was circulating within the expected range and severity.

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Influenza A(H1N1) pdm09, Influenza B/Victoria and influenza A(H3N2) are the most common strains, with A(H1N1)pdm09 being more severe in adults and circulating since 2010.

Those most at risk of a severe reaction are infants, pregnant women, people with HIV, the obese, people over 65 years of age, and people with chronic health problems.

The department urged high-risk individuals to get their flu vaccine.

Non-pharmaceutical interventions include covering the mouth and nose while lying down and washing hands frequently with warm water and soap.

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