The recent Mpox outbreak in South Africa has resulted in the deaths of three individuals, with the total number of confirmed infections now standing at 16, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday.

The ministry reported that three new cases of Mpox, a contagious disease spread through skin contact, were confirmed on Tuesday afternoon. Additionally, another patient succumbed to the virus, the statement noted. None of the affected individuals had a history of international travel, suggesting local transmission.

Mpox, also known as monkeypox, is a rare viral disease in humans caused by the MPXV virus. Although it is not highly transmissible, it can lead to severe symptoms including painful skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes, and fever.

The Health Ministry emphasized that efforts to curb the spread of the infection are ongoing in the most affected communities across the country. Health authorities are also focusing on educating funeral services on how to safely handle the bodies of those who have died from Mpox, whether suspected or confirmed cases.

Despite the outbreak, no travel restrictions or lockdown measures have been imposed. The World Health Organization (WHO) has not recommended any such actions at this time.

In late March, the WHO had already raised concerns about the potential for international spread of the epidemic. The organization has since expressed alarm over the “acceleration” of virus transmission in certain African nations.

As South Africa grapples with this public health challenge, the focus remains on containment and education to prevent further spread of the virus and to ensure the safety of the population.