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Monkeypox: NICD sends warning to those heading to endemic countries

24 May 2022 1:44 PM
Tags:
National Institute for Communicable Diseases NICD
monkeypox

Mandy Wiener speaks to Dr Michelle Groome at National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) about the monkeypox outbreak.
Monkeypox belongs to the Poxviridae family of viruses, which includes smallpox. Picture: CDC/Cynthia S. Goldsmith

The National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD) has issued a warning to those traveling to countries where monkeypox has been detected.

The latest outbreak of the virus was first detected on 13 May in the United Kingdom.

The NICD says those who are travelling to endemic countries should avoid contact with sick animals that could harbour monkeypox virus, and should refrain from eating or handling wild game.

So far, 15 countries have collectively reported more than 140 cases as the NICD's Dr Groome explains:

It's mainly the UK, Europe as well as the USA and some cases in Canada and Australia.

Dr Michelle Groome, Head of public health surveillance and response - National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)

Travel to those countries may potentially put somone at risk.

Dr Michelle Groome, Head of public health surveillance and response - National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)

Groome says it appears that, at this stage, there are certain subgroups, which are more prone to infection and that the average incubation period seems to be between 7-14 days.

It starts with fever, headache, muscle aches and pains and feeling tired - also enlarged lymph nodes and then a rash that develops about three days after those symptoms.

Dr Michelle Groome, Head of public health surveillance and response - National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)

She admits that experts are in 'new territory' when it comes to this particular outbreak of the disease:

It's a very rare disease, and we've only ever seen it in small outbreaks involving exported cases.

Dr Michelle Groome, Head of public health surveillance and response - National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)

With the amount of travelling that is happening, any country is at risk, adds Groome.

We're just trying to alert clinicians to be aware so we can detect any cases [in SA] early on.

Dr Michelle Groome, Head of public health surveillance and response - National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)

RELATED: What is monkeypox and should we be concerned?




24 May 2022 1:44 PM
Tags:
National Institute for Communicable Diseases NICD
monkeypox

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