The national department of health announced on Tuesday that the second case of monkeypox had been recorded, this time in Cape Town.
Last week the National Health Laboratory Service confirmed that South Africa had its first case of the virus.
At the time, Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla said a 30-year-old man from Johannesburg had tested positive, but had no travel history.
On Tuesday, Phaahla said a 32-year-old man from Cape Town had tested positive for monkeypox, and also had no recent history of travel.
“This suggests that there is a high possibility of local transmission.” Phaahla said:
He urged the public to observe good hygiene practices and other preventive measures which proved to be effective against Covid-19 and other infectious diseases, to prevent the spread of this virus.
“The source and linkage of cases remain under investigation and the department of health, working together with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, constantly assesses the risk for local transmission in collaboration with the WHO [the World Health Organisation] in line with International Health Regulations.”
Phaahla said health officials would continue with contact tracing while closely monitoring the situation, and alert clinicians on symptoms to look out for and, if the clinical picture fitted with monkeypox, they would be urged to complete the case investigation form and send samples for testing.
While the WHO has not recommended any travel restrictions, Phaahla said it was important for travellers to endemic countries to alert health officials of the situation to enable them to guide case detection and management.
“Members of the public who experience symptoms similar to those of monkeypox are urged to report to their nearest healthcare facility for early detection and successful treatment.
“Port health officials continue with multilayered screening measures, which include visual observation, temperature screening, and completion and analysis of a travellers’ health questionnaire when entering the country through ports of entry (airports, border gates and seaports) for early detection and successful treatment.”