A Tembisa Hospital patient has died of monkeypox.

The minister of health Dr Joe Phaahla, revealed this on Wednesday morning during a media briefing.

According to Phaahla, five cases have been recorded in SA so far. 

“Two of these cases were confirmed in Gauteng and three in KwaZulu-Natal. The death that occurred is among the two cases reported in Gauteng,” he said.

“The patient passed on Monday in Tembisa Hospital. All cases/patients are males aged between 30 to 39 years without travel history to the countries currently experiencing an outbreak, which suggests there is local transmission of this infectious disease in the country.

He said all the five cases were classified as severe cases as per WHO definition requiring hospitalisation.

“The cases have co-morbidities and have been identified as key populations, men who have sex with men. Thus, the department is reaching out to organisations working on HIV programmes and with key populations in addition to other stakeholders to implement targeted communication to intensify awareness about the outbreak and local transmission of the disease.”

Phaahla said one patient has been discharged, another one discharged for home isolation and follow-ups were being made. Two others were still admitted in hospital.

He said Mpox is a viral infection which spreads between people and occasionally from the environment to people via objects and surfaces that have been touched by a person with Mpox. 

Phaahla encouraged people who may have been in contact with anyone with the disease and who also present symptoms of skin lesions and rashes to approach their nearest health facilities.

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