ZIMBABWEAN port health authorities are on high alert at Beitbridge Border Post following  a recent confirmation of a Monkeypox case in South Africa.

With the recent outbreak of Monkeypox in non-pandemic areas and the confirmed case in neighbouring South Africa, Beitbridge District Medical Officer Dr Lenos Samhere said his team is on the lookout for any Monkeypox-related symptoms.

“We are aware that there is a confirmed case in South Africa, although it is difficult to precisely establish specific monkeypox symptoms, we have told our port team to intensify screening and to watch out for travellers presenting severe rash, fever and headache,” he said.

Dr Samhere also admitted that Zimbabwe has close trade ties with countries that have confirmed cases hence the need for improved awareness campaigns targeting international travellers.

People need to know more about how this viral disease spreads. We are fortunate that people are used to COVID-19 protocols which emphasise social and physical distancing. Such practices are important in minimising chances of contracting the disease,” he added

Monkeypox endemic countries include Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Nigeria and Western African Regions.