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Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla held a media briefing on Wednesday to provide an update on the outbreak of the Mpox disease

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By Kouthar Sambo

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla held a media briefing on Wednesday to provide an update on the outbreak of the Mpox disease, also known as Monkeypox disease. According to Phaahla, five cases have been recorded in SA so far. 

Speaking on VOC’s PM Drive show earlier today, the spokesperson for the Health Department, Foster Mohale, said two of these cases were confirmed in Gauteng, where one died in a Tembisa Hospital. Additionally, three other cases were confirmed in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

“All three KZN cases are directly linked to each other through physical contact, however, we are still trying to establish if the Gauteng case has a direct linkage to the KZN cases,” explained Mohale.

“The cases reported so far are classified as serious and severe as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) definition, and the affected persons are hospitalised. Out of the four cases, only one has been discharged, the other is to isolate, and two patients are still in hospital receiving treatment,” clarified Mohale.

According to Mohale, the disease is not endemic in South Africa, but it is endemic in other countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, other African countries, as well as Asian and European countries.

He added that because the disease is less uncommon in South Africa, there is no treatment currently for the disease, but the Health Department is seeking treatment urgently to save the lives of those affected.

“An important factor is that five of these cases are people with HIV, and those who are not adhering to their treatment for HIV or any other treatment, means their immune systems have been compromised.”

“We urge people who are already on treatment to adhere to medical instructions as per healthcare workers so their immune systems can be boosted to fight off other infections,” stressed Mohale.

Photo: Screenshot


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