How does the monkeypox virus spread?

Health minister Joe Phaahla confirmed the first positive case in Gauteng last week.

 Health Minister Joe Phaahla Photo: NICD/Twitter

Health minister Joe Phaahla confirmed the first positive Monkeypox virus case in Gauteng on Wednesday, and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has shared information on how the virus spreads.

According to the NICD, monkeypox can spread in various ways, such as:

– from person to person through direct contact with the infected person or body fluids.

– to others through close contact such as kissing, cuddling, or touching parts of the body with a monkeypox wound.

– upon contact with an infected animal or materials such as clothing contaminated with the virus

– if a person is either scratched or bitten by an infected animal.

– through eyes, nose, mouth or broken skin.

The NICD details that in Africa, monkeypox infection has been found in many animals such as rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian rats, striped mice, dormice and primates.

“Certain species of rodents [animals such as rats] are suspected of being the main disease carrier (reservoir host) of monkeypox, although this has not been proven yet,” the NICD statement read.

Health minister Joe Phaahla at a media briefing on Wednesday confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the country.

“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.

“Monkeypox is usually a mild disease manifesting as blisters on the skin. It is usually mild and self-limiting with a fatality rate of 1%.”

See more information about monkeypox on the NICD website: www.nicd.ac.za/diseases-a-z-index/monkeypox/

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