16th August 2022 – (Johannesburg) South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Monday confirmed that the country had detected the fourth monkeypox case and vowed that the government would take measures to prevent its spreading.
He is expected to hold a media briefing Friday to explain how the national health department is responding to the increasing cases of monkeypox in the country.
Foster Mohale, the department spokesperson, said in an interview with Xinhua that the department was concerned about the increasing number of monkeypox cases, but stressed there was no need to panic.
According to him, a 28-year-old man from the Western Cape province has been identified as the fourth case of monkeypox. The patient returned to South Africa from Spain in the second week of August.
“A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was performed in a private pathology laboratory. The samples were submitted to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) for sequencing analysis,” Mohale said, noting the health department has instituted public health response measures including contact tracing to prevent the spreading of the monkeypox virus.
Three unrelated laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases have been reported from Gauteng, Western Cape, and Limpopo provinces. The cases were reported in three men aged 30, 32 and 42, who completed a period of self-isolation and monitoring without reporting any further symptoms. The three patients had no history of traveling.
The NICD stressed it is imperative that cases are isolated until they have recovered fully in order to prevent infection.