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  • Cape Town, Western Cape government ready to respond to monkeypox

    Cape Town, Western Cape government ready to respond to monkeypox

    The second confirmed case of monkeypox in South Africa was detected in Cape Town on 27 June. Both the metropolitan and provincial government say their health systems are ready to respond to the disease and urged residents not to panic.

    NO NEED TO PANIC OVER MONKEYPOX, SAY WESTERN CAPE HEALTH SERVICES

    According to the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness, the monkeypox case was confirmed through laboratory testing on Monday, 27 June.

    The Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced the case publicly on Tuesday – just a few days after the first one was made public.

    The Cape Town patient is a 32-year-old man with no travel history. Phaahla said this suggests that there is a high possibility of local transmission in South Africa.

    The first local monkeypox case – a man from Johannesburg – also had no travel history and at this stage, it is not known if the two cases are linked, according to the NICD. Local contact tracing teams are following up on the infections.

    “Local health teams and outbreak teams have been alerted, and are on the look-out to identify cases. Western Cape Government Health and Wellness are prepared and ready to respond to any possible cases,” said the provincial government.

    Monkeypox symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle and back aches, chills and exhaustion. These symptoms are followed by tell-tale skin lesions or a blister-like rash on the face, feet or hands.

    Members of the public who experience these symptoms are encouraged to visit their nearest healthcare facility for diagnosis and treatment.

    The City of Cape Town said its Health Clinics are prepared to test and provide supportive treatment to those who are symptomatic and provide guidance.

    “The news of our first case of monkeypox will no doubt cause some concern and anxiety for our residents.

    “It is important to note that due to the low risk of transmission, a widespread outbreak of Monkeypox is highly unlikely,” said Cape Town MayCo Member for Community Services and Health, Patricia van der Ross.

    The Western Cape government said there is no need for public panic as the disease is not highly contagious or easily transferrable.

    As previously reported, monkeypox is typically self-limiting with a fatality rate of around 1%. It spreads through droplets and transmission is possible through close contact. You cannot get it just by being in the same room as an infected person.

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