No monkeypox cases confirmed: DA

FamCast News
22 days ago


‘Mantšali Phakoana

The Maseru District Administrator (DA), Tšepo Lethobane has dismissed fears of a monkeypox outbreak in the country, revealing that no cases have been reported.

However, Lethobane has encouraged the public to remain vigilant and to protect themselves from both monkeypox and COVID-19.

This comes after 45 of the 175 learners from New Millennium English Medium School in Maseru were suspected to have monkeypox symptoms.

According to Lethobane, the 45 pupils were screened at Maseru boarder on Friday, following a school trip from Durban, South Africa.

“They were then hurried to Maseru District Hospital for testing. Out of the tested learners, 22 of them were cleared as their results came out negative.

“One of them tested positive for Covid-19. For the remaining 23 learners, my office and the DHMT (District Health Management Team) are monitoring them. Arrangements are underway to meet them through the assistance of their parents and teachers, so that they go for further testing.

“I plead with the nation to continue monitoring their health and be vigilant because Covid-19 still exists and cases of it are being reported in the country and worldwide,” Lethobane noted.

Apart from the learners’ case, Lethobane indicated, there were concerning symptoms of the monkeypox infection, especially among people with travelling history from Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal provinces.

Lethobane indicated that the symptoms follow the severe flu that affected most of the public this winter.

Meanwhile, Maseru District Medical Officer (DMO), Dr Moseme Makhele, pointed out that the virus spreads from person to person through; sexual intercourse between people of the same sex, direct contact with rashes, scabs or body fluids of a person with monkeypox, extended close contact, with respiratory droplets from an infected person, or infected animals.

It can also be passed through materials that have been in contact with rashes or body fluids of an infected person.

Dr Makhele also explained that cancer, diabetic, anti-immune, HIV patients are among the groups at more risks of being diagnosed with monkeypox.

He encouraged the public to protect themselves from both moneybox and Covid-19, through social distancing, washing hands with soap, using masks and also going to health centres should they see any signs of the two viruses.

“There are are no monkeypox cases in Lesotho, but it is important for the public to remain vigilant, and protect yourselves from this disease by wearing masks, washing hands with soap, social distancing and any other means.

“The public with symptoms of the disease should also seek medical attention. We will embark on education campaigns to create awareness on the disease so that the public is informed.

“We will further engage with countrywide health centres to alert them about the importance of attending to patients at this time, should they see symptoms of the disease,” Dr Makhele added.

South Africa has reported seven cases of monkeypox with three patients from Kwazulu-Natal and two from Gauteng province.

The patients were men between the ages of 30 and 39 with no history of travel. The country has also reported two deaths from Gauteng province.

Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Some patients fully recover, but some get very sick.

The virus can be transmitted to humans through physical contact with someone infectious, with contaminated materials or with infected animals.

Symptoms of monkeypox include an unexplained acute rash and back pain, swollen lymph nodes, acute onset of fever, headache, muscle and body aches and low energy.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), from January, 1 this year, a total of 97,208 laboratory confirmed cases of monkeypox were reported, including 186 deaths worldwide since 2022, giving a fatality rate of under 1 percent. Last year, the organisation revealed that monkeypox is not an international health crisis.