Health department scheduled to receive Mpox medication as cases rise to seven

The department of health confirmed the total number of Mpox positive cases has increased to seven.
The department of health confirmed the total number of Mpox positive cases has increased to seven.
Image: Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery/ CDC/ REUTERS

The number of patients who have tested positive for Mpox has increased to seven, the health department confirmed.

It said all patients who had tested positive were living with chronic illnesses such as HIV, which suggested a high probability of them being immunocompromised unless adherent to prescribed treatment.

The latest confirmed case is a 39-year-old man who was admitted at a local private health facility in Cape Town on May 28. The man tested positive for Mpox on Thursday at a private laboratory. 

The department said the patient presented with extensive lesions and is RVD positive with an unknown CD4 count.

“Just like case number six, the latest patient listed his residential address as Northcliff, Gauteng,” said department spokesperson Foster Mohale.

The department urged people taking medication for any health condition to adhere to treatment as per their healthcare provider's guidance to minimise the risk of serious health complications in case they contract Mpox or other diseases.

Treatment adherence can prevent new or worsening health problems and failure to adhere to your prescriptions can negatively affect the quality of your life,” he said. 

He said the department is scheduled to receive a batch of Tecovirimat which has been described as being effective in preventing morbidity and mortality associated with Mpox, especially when initiated within a few days of incubation and diagnosis. 

According to the department, four cases were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal, two in Gauteng and one in Cape Town. The first death was reported at Tembisa Hospital in Gauteng, while the second was a hospital in uMgungundlovu, KwaZulu-Natal.

Mohale said the department was working closely with other stakeholders and would continue with surveillance, contract tracing and health education across the country to determine the burden of the disease and empower citizens with information to make well-informed health choices.

“The effectiveness of contract tracing and case finding depends on the co-operation and accuracy of information provided by both confirmed and suspected cases,” he said. 

Some of the common symptoms of Mpox include a rash which may last for 2—4 weeks, fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy and swollen glands (lymph nodes).

The painful rash looks like blisters or sores and can affect the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, groin, genital and/or anal regions.



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