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Monkeypox cases in Mzansi now at 13

South Africa has identified six additional laboratory-confirmed cases of Mpox (commonly referred to as Monkeypox), taking the total number of cases from seven to 13 since the first case was reported last month.

The Department of Health reported new infections in Gauteng and the Western Cape. The death toll is still at two. 

The first case of Monkeypox, now known as Mpox, was reported in South Africa on 9 May 2024, when a 35-year-old male living in Gauteng tested positive.

In the latest statement, the department said it has received a batch of Mpox-specific treatment, Tecovirimat – also known as TPOXX or ST-246, for treatment of patients who experience severe health complications because of Mpox disease. 

“The process to secure more treatment, including vaccines, is underway in case the need arises. However, all mild cases will continue to be managed with supportive treatment used to manage complications like fever, pneumonia and skin infections,” the department explained. 

READ | Mpox cases rise to seven in SA after new infection recorded in W Cape

Government is urging all people regardless of gender, age, or sexual orientation, with suspected Mpox symptoms or who had physical contact with known cases to present themselves at a healthcare facility because anyone can contract this preventable and treatable disease. 

The department stated that hand hygiene is one of the effective ways to protect people from getting sick and prevent transmission of diseases. 

“People are reminded to always wash hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.”

Some of the common symptoms of Mpox include a rash, which may last for two to four weeks, fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy and swollen glands. 

“The painful rash looks like blisters or sores, and can affect the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, groin, and so on.”

Stephen Seakgwe

Stephen Seakgwe is the editor of Mapepeza. He is a working journalist covering general and investigative stories for the newspaper and online platforms. Stephen is an experienced and driven Media Specialist with over eight years of experience creating compelling content across multiple media platforms for a range of brands.

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