Since 22 June 2022 to date 19 July, there have been three unlinked laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases in South Africa, with no deaths reported.

The cases were reported from Gauteng, Western Cape and Limpopo in men aged 30, 32 and 42 years, respectively.

From 25 May to 19 July 2022, South Africa has conducted 226 monkeypox laboratory tests (PCR) from individuals suspected of monkeypox disease within South Africa (122) and other African countries (104).

No recent international travel history was reported in either of these cases from Gauteng and Western Cape, however, the first case reported in Gauteng had close contact with an undiagnosed person with international travel history.

The third confirmed case reported on 10 July 2022 in Limpopo is an imported case involving a tourist who has since returned to his home country, Switzerland.

28 close contacts (Gauteng, 5, Western Cape, 6, and Limpopo, 17) have been identified. The close contacts identified in Gauteng and Western Cape have since completed their 21 days of symptoms monitoring period. The contacts identified in Limpopo from the two lodges where that person stayed are still being monitored.

Currently, there have been no reported secondary cases linked to the three confirmed cases.

“Full genetic sequencing for both cases from Gauteng and Western Cape was conducted. The viral genomes clustered in the B.1 lineage of the Western Africa clade with other viral genomes associated with cases of the current multi-country outbreak. The genetic sequencing for the third case is being conducted,” said the NICD.

It called on healthcare workers to be on high alert and maintain a high index of suspicion for any individuals presenting with an unexplained acute rash or skin lesions.

Other monkey symptoms to look out for are:

  • Headache
  • Acute onset of fever (>38.5°C)
  • Lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes)
  • Myalgia (muscle pain/body aches)
  • Backache

Global situation

Since May 2022 and up to 19 July 2022, 13,436 laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases have been reported from 70 non-endemic countries across five WHO regions. The majority of the monkeypox cases have been reported from the WHO European region, with 7,896 confirmed cases reported from 27 countries as of 18 July 2022.