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Monkeypox spreads to Lagos, 6 other states in Nigeria – NCDC

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  • No deaths recorded so far, 31 suspected cases monitored


Jude Johnson

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed that the dreaded Monkeypox outbreak has spread to seven states with 31 suspected cases across the country.

Statement from the agency indicated that the most affected states are located in the South South and South West of the country.

The Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, on Monday said the samples have been  collected from each suspected case for laboratory confirmation, while the results      are still      awaited.

Ihekweazu noted that “so far, there have been     no deaths recorded”, adding that it is unlikely that many of the suspected cases are actually monkeypox, but all are being investigated.

He stated: “Following the notification of    a suspected monkeypox outbreak on the 22nd   of        September, 2017 in Bayelsa State, other   suspected cases have been reported from six more States, bringing the total number of suspected     cases so far to           31 across seven  States- Bayelsa, Rivers,   Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross River States.

“All the       suspected cases are currently receiving     appropriate medical care, and      the patients are all improving clinically in their various States. The Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is supporting the affected States to ensure the outbreak is brought under control and to limit further spread.”

“NCDC has activated an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to coordinate the outbreak       investigation and response across the affected States. The EOC is currently supporting  State Ministries of Health in their response        to the outbreak through active case finding, epidemiological investigation and contact tracing.”

The NCDC boss assured that measures     have been put            in place  to ensure effective sample  collection and testing to enable       laboratory confirmation. Risk communication activities have been heightened to advise the public on preventive measures.

He also said that all 36 States and the FCT have   been notified for preparedness.

In light of the above, he said,   it is important to be reminded that monkeypox  is a rare viral zoonotic disease with symptoms in humans similar to those seen  in smallpox patients, but much less severe and with a low fatality rate.

Ihekweazu explained that transmission    is via contact with infected animal, human, or contaminated   materials. He added that animal-to-human transmission occurs    through bite or scratch from animals and bush meat preparation.

What to know about Monkeypox

“It can also be   transmitted from one person to    another. Human-to-human transmission occurs through respiratory droplets, contact with infected persons or contaminated materials. Control measures include isolation of suspected or confirmed cases,   strict adherence to universal precautions, especially frequent hand-washing with soap and water, and use of personal protective equipment,” he added.

Ihekweazu listed the signs and        symptoms to include fever, headache,        body pain, malaise, lymphadenopathy (enlargement of glands), sore throat, the characteristic generalized vesicular rash.

He said that rashes might last between      two to            four weeks. He also emphasised that “Monkeypox is self-limiting, which means patients tend to recover with time. However, supportive care and management of condition is required and mostly successful”.

The CEO of NCDC further emphasised that “Nigerians    are once advised to remain calm, avoid self-medication and report any suspected case to the nearest health facility. Public health authorities across the country have been well informed on what to do when a suspected case arises”.


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