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Travellers to South Africa to be screened for Monkeypox

Port health officials have announced that they are developing an outbreak preparedness plan at South Africa’s ports of entry to deal with monkeypox (Mpox).

The total number of laboratory-confirmed cases of Mpox in South Africa has risen to 16 since the outbreak in May 2024, while the death toll is now three.

In response to the 16 cases in South Africa that have been confirmed by the National Department of Health, the Border Management Authority (BMA) is implementing screening processes for travellers entering the country.

The Commissioner of South Africa’s Border Management Authority, Dr Michael Masiapato, has said that the first phase of screening occurs when the conveyance operator (i.e. the captain of the aircraft and crew members) provides a general declaration of health (declaring that no travellers have reported or were found to be ill on board) in terms of International Health Regulations.

The second process is thermal screening, which checks passengers’ temperatures. Should the traveller present with an elevated temperature, they will be isolated and assisted with further screening by Port Health.

The BMA Port Health Officer will also conduct their own general and non-invasive observation of the traveller under investigation.

Mpox is a highly infectious disease found in West and Central Africa. The virus causes a painful rash, enlarged lymph nodes and fever. It is spread by physical contact. Most people fully recover, however some become very ill.

IOL Lifestyle

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