Monkeypox outbreak detected in South Africa: one person died

June 12, 2024  21:23

An outbreak of monkeypox in South Africa has killed one person and infected four others, the country's government said Wednesday, adding that it was trying to procure more drugs for treatment as a precautionary measure, AFP reported.

The five cases, reported between May 8 and June 7, were the first reported in the country since 2022, the country's health minister Joe Faala told reporters.

Monkeypox is a viral disease transmitted through close contact with infected humans or animals and through materials such as soiled bed sheets.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease causes painful and scarring lesions, mainly on the face, anus, and genitals. Common symptoms include skin rash, fever, headache, muscle aches and enlarged lymph nodes.

Monkeypox was first detected in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and since then its spread has been largely limited to some countries in West and Central Africa. But in May 2022, infection rates rose sharply worldwide, mostly among men who have sex with men, prompting the WHO to declare it a global health emergency.

The U.N. agency lifted the warning last year, but the small-scale spread of smallpox in monkeys around the world continues. More than 97,000 cases and 186 deaths have been reported in 117 countries in the first four months of 2024, according to the WHO.

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