Nigeria confirms 21 monkeypox cases
Nigeria has recorded 21 confirmed monkeypox cases in nine states and one death since January 2022, the country’s disease control agency said.
The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) says the West African economic powerhouse has recorded 66 suspected cases of monkeypox in more than 20 states this year.
The “risk of exposure to Nigeria’s monkeypox virus is high based on the recent risk assessment conducted,” the agency added in a report released late Sunday.
The report said the only death was that of a 40-year-old patient who had an underlying disease and was taking immunosuppressive drugs.
A rapid increase in suspected cases was recorded in May, when there were 20 new suspected cases in 11 states, a 100% increase in the number of reported cases compared to April, when 10 new cases were reported, according to The report.
This is “likely due to ongoing efforts to increase awareness and improve surveillance”, he said, adding that the NCDC had activated a national multi-sector monkeypox emergency operations center.
The center will seek to strengthen and coordinate ongoing response activities in the country while contributing to the global response.
The NCDC was notified by UK health authorities of a case of monkeypox exported from Nigeria in early May, the report said.
He said the patient traveled to Nigeria between April 20 and May 3, adding that the NCDC has since coordinated and supported the concerned state governments in carrying out a thorough investigation and response.
The NCDC has urged Nigerians to remain aware of the risk of monkeypox and adhere to public health safety measures.
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The public is also required to report to the nearest health facility if they notice known signs and symptoms of the disease.
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that endemic monkeypox is documented in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.
The four African countries, the ACDC said, reported more than 1,400 endemic cases of monkeypox and 62 deaths in 2022, with a case fatality rate of 4.4%.
Monkeypox is common in wild animals like primates and rodents, but humans can also be infected.
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Symptoms include rash, fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.
The rash eventually forms a crust, which later falls off, indicating that the person is no longer contagious.