Experts warn of bias as first case of monkeypox is reported


(Photo courtesy CDC/Getty Images)

  • The first case of monkeypox has been reported in the country.
  • The patient is a 30-year-old man from Johannesburg, who has no travel history.
  • The NICD is tracing his contacts to determine if they are also infected.

Health professionals have called on South Africans not to resort to fanaticism around monkeypox.

On Thursday, the first case of the disease was confirmed in a 30-year-old man in Johannesburg.

The man has no international travel history, according to Health Minister Joe Phaahla.

“The disease only spreads by nearby droplets, so you can’t catch it from being in the same room as an infected person. So far it has been dominant in men who have sex with women. men, but the main characteristic is that the transmission is Contact.”

READ | Monkeypox: “Too early to speak of a pandemic”

The disease was previously reported in African countries, such as Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Ghana, in the early 2000s.

The current outbreak has been reported in the UK, Spain, Germany, Portugal and France.

Phaahla said the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) is conducting ongoing online training for health workers to detect the disease.

Professor Kolela Mlisana, who co-chairs the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19, said everyone was susceptible to infection.

“That doesn’t mean it’s spread by men who sleep with men, but by any direct contact. We’re seeing this trend because that’s probably how it got into countries outside of Europe. Africa. The important thing is that we can diagnose it, and it will be important to contact the trace. At the moment, it is a case and it is up to us, as laboratory people, to be on maximum alert.

The NICD warned against the stigmatization of homosexuals or men who sleep with men.

READ ALSO | Monkeypox cases confirmed in 8 African countries, WHO convenes meeting to assess global threat

“Please note that the information shared on monkeypox was to provide an epidemiological context for the current multinational epidemic. It was in no way intended to profile members of society.

“We would like to emphasize that anyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, can acquire monkeypox – if they have had close contact with someone infected with the virus.”

The disease presents in skin lesions and is spread through close contact – such as sex, cuddling and cuddling.

An NICD statement on Thursday said the illness presents as an acute illness characterized by fever and general flu-like symptoms followed by the eruption of a blister-like rash on the skin. . The disease is rarely fatal, and cases usually resolve within two to four weeks and usually do not require hospital treatment.

“Treatment is supportive and a doctor may prescribe medication to treat pain, fever and other discomforts. It is important to stay hydrated and avoid scratching or popping blisters to prevent infection with bacteria. The rash is usually not itchy, but can become irritating when the skin lesions are nearly healed.”

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