Friday, 19 July, 2024
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SA records first mpox death

The country recorded its first death from mpox on Monday when a 37-year-old man died in Tembisa Hospital, with Health Minister Joe Phaahla saying that this was the fifth case this year, suggesting local transmission.

One of the cases had indicated sexual contact with multiple partners, including both males and females, Phaahla added.

News24 reports that all five of the cases were reported within just one month – all men aged 30 to 39, without travel histories to countries experiencing outbreaks.

“All five cases were classified (as) severe cases … requiring hospitalisation. The cases have co-morbidities and have been identified as key populations, men who have sex with men,” he said.

One patient has been discharged, one discharged for home isolation and two remain in hospital.

Reuters reports that sequencing of three of the cases found the strain mpox clade IIb, which began to spread globally in 2022.

The Republic of the Congo declared an epidemic of mpox in April after recording 19 cases of the virus.

While there is no registered treatment for mpox in South Africa, the WHO recommends Tecovirimat (known as TPOXX) for severe cases, such as in individuals with a CD4 count under 350.

However, the Department has obtained Tecovirimat via Section 21 South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) approval on compassionate use basis for the known patients with severe disease.

A request for a small stockpile of Tecovirimat will be supported by the WHO as a donation.

“Our intention is to obtain a stockpile of Tecovirimat treatment for rapid deployment in case of a wider outbreak,” added Phaahla.

“As far as the vaccine is concerned, options are being considered regarding which population groups should be targeted. South Africa is trying to source vaccine from WHO member countries who have stockpiles that exceed their needs, as well as from GAVI. These vaccines will be stored and distributed from our provincial depots.”

The health department has urged people who have been in contact with known or suspected cases to go to their nearest healthcare provider for evaluation.

 

Reuters article – South Africa records first mpox death after five cases confirmed (Open access)

 

News24 article – SA records first mpox death, as fifth case reported in one month (Restricted access)

 

News24 article – Health authorities encourage honest disclosure of contact after two more Mpox cases in Durban (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Durban man in hospital for mpox

 

Mpox case confirmed in Gauteng

 

Call for action as DRC mpox spreads via heterosexuals

 

 

 

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