NIGERIA – The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has registered 59 suspected cases of Monkeypox with 15 confirmed, its Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has said.
Monkeypox is caused by a virus that is related to smallpox, the only human virus to have been eradicated. It causes less severe illness than smallpox, but is still quite dangerous.
The CDC said that the fatality rate for the strain of monkeypox seen in the Dallas case is about 10%. Monkeypox is rarely seen in people, affecting those with weakened immune systems more strongly.
Monkeypox is rarely seen in people. There was a large outbreak in the USA in 2003, when a shipment of animals from Ghana contained several rodents and other small mammals that were infected with the virus.
47 confirmed and probable cases were reported in five states. The outbreak was the first-time human cases of monkeypox were reported outside of Africa.
In the past few years, Nigeria has seen an uptick of monkeypox cases and seven exported cases have now been detected: four in the United Kingdom and one apiece in Singapore, Israel, and the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 200 people are being monitored for possible exposure to monkeypox after they had contact with an individual who contracted the disease in Nigeria before traveling to the United States this month.
The disease triggers fever, chills, swollen glands, and a characteristic rash that is disseminated across the body, including on the palms of hands and the soles of feet.
The virus spreads through a variety of ways: inhalation of respiratory droplets from infected people or contact with their lesions or bodily fluids.
The virus can also be transmitted by having contact with bed linens or other items that have been used by an infected person.
Ihekweazu has said that just as the agency responded to other epidemic prone diseases in the country, an outbreak would be declared when there was a large cluster of monkeypox cases that constituted an emergency.
“We have been working closely with state health ministries to strengthen monkeypox disease surveillance and response in the country. We will continue working with all states to strengthen monkeypox prevention, detection and control in Nigeria,” he explained.
Since the re-emergence of monkeypox in the country in September 2017, the agency has continued to receive reports and responses to sporadic cases of the disease from states across the country.
He has urged Nigerians to continue adhering to precautions that protected them from monkeypox and other infectious diseases.
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