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South Africa’s first monkeypox case confirmed in Johannesburg

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Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Thursday announced that the country’s laboratory services have confirmed the first monkeypox case in South Africa.

The patient was a 30-year-old male from Johannesburg who had no travel history, “meaning that this cannot be attributed to having been acquired outside South Africa,” Phaahla told a news conference.

A process of contact tracing was under way, he added.

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Monkeypox is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions. It is endemic in parts of Africa, but not South Africa.

The World Health Organization will decide on Thursday whether to declare monkeypox a global health emergency. That has stirred criticism from some leading African scientists who say it has been a crisis for some African countries for years.

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