South Africa has recorded its first case of monkeypox after a Johannesburg resident was diagnosed with the disease, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said on Thursday.
According to the minister, he had received a report from the National Health Laboratory Services confirming the first case of monkeypox in South Africa.
“The patient is a 30-year-old male from Johannesburg who has no travel history, meaning that this cannot be attributed to having been acquired outside South Africa,” Phaahla said in a statement.
He revealed that his ministry had commenced a process of contact tracing to avoid the further spreading of the disease.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases was conducting online in service training for our health workers for them to detect the disease so that the necessary laboratory tests can be done, he said.
Monkeypox is usually a mild disease manifesting as a blisters on the skin, with a low fatality rate.
The disease only spread through close droplets, which means one cannot get it by being in the same room with an infected person.
Although the disease has previously been reported in African countries in the early 2000s, the current outbreak is dominated by high numbers in Western countries such as Canada, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and United States.