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SA disease experts said on Wednesday that they did not see a need for a mass vaccination campaign against monkeypox nor did they believe cases would spread in the same way as Covid-19.

SA has not recorded any confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox, a usually mild viral infection that is endemic in parts of West and Central Africa.

But health authorities are vigilant after more than 200 suspected and confirmed cases have been detected in at least 19 countries since early May.

“At this time we don’t need mass vaccinations for monkeypox. There’s a lot for us to investigate on the epidemiological point of view,” said Adrian Puren, executive director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

Jacqueline Weyer, from the NICD’s Centre for Emerging, Zoonotic and Parasitic Diseases, said so far there was “nothing strange, nothing that we haven’t seen before” in the monkeypox outbreak outside Africa, “except that it’s now happening in a different place”.

She said monkeypox was not as highly transmissible as the virus that causes Covid-19.



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