A second person has died in South Africa this week from the viral infection mpox, the Ministry of Health announced on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the first death was reported.

The second person who died was a 38-year-old man. He had been admitted to a hospital in the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) with extensive lesions, headaches, fatigue, mouth ulcers, muscle pain, and sore throat. He tested positive for mpox on Wednesday.

“The patient unfortunately passed away in the province of KZN on the same day that his test results came back positive,” said Foster Mohale, spokesperson for the national health department.

The total number of laboratory-confirmed mpox cases stands at six, with two deaths since the first case was recorded five weeks ago.

MPOX is transmitted through close physical contact. Most cases are mild, but the disease can be deadly.

It is crucial for the public to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands regularly and avoiding close contact with those who are infected. Health authorities are urging people to seek medical attention if they experience symptoms such as lesions, headaches, fatigue, mouth ulcers, muscle pain, or sore throat.

The Ministry of Health is working to contain the spread of mpox and is conducting contact tracing to identify and isolate individuals who may have been exposed to the virus.

It is important for the public to stay informed about the latest developments regarding mpox and to follow the guidance and recommendations provided by health officials to protect themselves and others from this potentially deadly virus.