The strain of syphilis that killed the South African president’s sister

The sister of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is seeking legal advice in a bid to push medical authorities to resume testing the president for a strain of deadly syphilis. Sunita Ramaphosa, who is also the country’s Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, announced she had become aware that her sister had tested positive for the strain because she spoke to Cyril at a public rally on Sunday.

It emerged on Tuesday that South Africa’s Omicron-2 strain of syphilis is resistant to the antibiotic that is used as standard treatment, though it is unclear what resulted in the infection in the first place. Cape Town reported an outbreak of the strain last month, though the possibility that the bacterium affected the president must be raised since he resides in the capital, Pretoria.

The virus is highly contagious but only spreads when the disease is transferred between individuals through prolonged contact, according to South Africa’s Ministry of Health.

A brief incubation period before one’s sexual fluids become infected. (It also doesn’t matter if you aren’t an intimate partner!)#oiclon2 #kingston #Dlamini @MNC_Election @SIfloze pic.twitter.com/Wk7REnCpU5 — Dr Manoj Jain (@DrManojJain) January 11, 2017

“No government body is currently testing the president,” said Ramaphosa. “At this stage, he is safe, but should he be tested positive for the Omicron-2 strain in the future, then the government is there to help with options to reverse the damage.” The minister said she has not personally sought to test her brother.

South Africa is mourning the loss of the White Earth Loon, one of the country’s rarest reptiles. It is believed that the Loon may have been killed by a cyanide gas that was being used as an illegal drug.

Read the full story at Newsweek.

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