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Travellers to be screened when entering South Africa

Travellers to be screened for monkeypox

To address the 16 confirmed cases of monkeypox in South Africa, the National Department of Health, the Border Management Authority (BMA) is implementing strict screening processes for travellers entering the country.

As per Travel News, Commissioner of South Africa’s BMA, Dr Michael Masiapato, revealed that the first level of screening will occur when the transfer operator, meaning the captain of the aircraft and crew members, provides a general declaration of health, divulging that no travellers have reported or were found to be ill on board, in terms of International Health Regulations. 

The second level of screening will be thermal screening, which will check the temperature of passengers, and if they present with a higher than normal 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.

“We are also in close collaboration with the communicable disease facilities in the districts in order to respond swiftly and ensure immediate reporting of any suspected traveller that meets the Mpox disease symptom profile,” Masiapato said.

What symptoms to look for

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), these are the common symptoms of monkeypox:

  • rash
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • back pain
  • low energy
  • swollen lymph nodes. 

The WHO said the rash begins as a flat sore, which develops into a blister filled with liquid and may be itchy or painful. As the rash heals, the lesions dry up, crust over and fall off. 

Monkeypox spreads from contact with an infected person through touch, kissing, or sex. It is also spread from animals when hunting, skinning, or cooking them, as well as from materials, such as infected sheets, clothes or needles. Pregnant women can also pass the virus on to their unborn baby. 

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