The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has confirmed the outbreak of Monkeypox disease in Nigeria, days after the United States, raised the red flag after the first case of the virus since 2003.
Monkeypox infections of that strain are fatal in about one in 100 people, affecting those with weakened immune systems more strongly. The disease is in the same family of viruses as smallpox, is a rare but potentially deadly viral infection that begins with flu-like symptoms and progresses to a rash on the face and body.
Director-General of NCDC Chike Ihekweazu told News agency of Nigeria, NAN that 15 cases already registered out of the 59 suspected cases, with Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Lagos States worse hit with the infection.
Ihekweazu stated that it 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
According to him, “The federal government was notified of the situation in Texas, through the International Health Regulations (IHR), who reported a case of Monkeypox disease diagnosed in a patient who had recently visited Nigeria.
“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.
“We have been working closely with state health ministries to strengthen Monkeypox disease surveillance and response in the Country.
“We work with the Enhanced Monkeypox Surveillance Project where we have been training health workers across States to rapidly detect and manage cases.
“Our initial focus is on the States with the highest number of cases – Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Lagos.
“We will continue working with all states to strengthen Monkeypox prevention, detection and control in Nigeria,” he explained.
He urged Nigerians to continue adhering to precautions that protected them from monkeypox and other infectious diseases.
“If you feel ill or have a sudden rash, please visit a hospital for diagnosis and management,” he stressed.