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Second Mpox Death Reported in South Africa
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A second person has died from mpox in South Africa, less than 24 hours after the country’s first death from the virus, Health Minister Joe Phaahla has announced. The two men, aged 37 and 38, were confirmed to have died from the virus following testing.

Minister Phaahla stated that six cases have been recorded in the country this year—two in Gauteng and four in KwaZulu-Natal. All cases were severe and required hospitalization. The infected individuals, aged between 30 and 39, had not traveled to other countries experiencing outbreaks, suggesting local transmission.

Mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, is a viral infection transmitted through close contact. Initial symptoms include fever, headaches, swelling, back pain, and aching muscles, which can develop into a rash. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a public health emergency over an mpox outbreak in 2022. Although the emergency status ended last year, low levels of cases continue to be reported in some countries.

“One death is too many, especially from a preventable and manageable disease,” Mr. Phaahla said on Wednesday. He urged those with suspected symptoms to seek medical attention and assist in contact tracing. He added that the six diagnosed patients had pre-existing immuno-deficiencies and had contracted the disease since the start of May. The virus has been reported in over 100 countries since 2022.

Two of those infected have been discharged and allowed to go home, while two remain hospitalized. Anyone who came into contact with a fatality will be monitored for 21 days. The first human case of mpox was reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970, where the disease remains endemic, according to the WHO.

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Piers Potter

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