June 2024 2nd edition

Mpox treatment available in South Africa


The Department of Health has received a batch of monkeypox (mpox) specific treatment, Tecovirimat (also known as TPOXX or ST-246) for the treatment of patients who experience severe health complications as a result of the mpox disease. 

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla recently declared that South Africa had an mpox outbreak.

Mpox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It can be transmitted to a person upon contact with animals, humans or materials contaminated with the virus. The disease is preventable and treatable when diagnosed early. 

The Department of Health stated that the process of securing more treatment including a vaccine was underway in case the need arises. 

“However, all mild cases will continue to be managed with supportive treatment used to manage complications like fever, pneumonia and skin infections,” the department said in a statement. 

The department urges all people regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, with suspected mpox symptoms or who had physical contact with known cases to present themselves at the healthcare facility for clinical evaluation because anyone can contract this disease. 

“Hand hygiene is one of the effective ways to protect people from getting sick and prevent transmission of the diseases, hence people are reminded to always wash hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.” 

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
  • 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. 

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