By Iyemah David
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in its latest report on Monkeypox, said the country recorded six cases and one death in May.
The centre said that Nigeria’s risk of exposure to the Monkeypox virus was high based on the recent risk assessment it conducted.
The NCDC in its latest epidemiological summary on Monkeypox which was published on Sunday evening noted that since January 2022, Nigeria had continued to report sporadic cases of the disease.
Monkeypox is an uncommon disease caused by infection with the Monkeypox virus, which belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the Poxviridae family.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease is only seen in West and Central African countries.
It has, however, been reported in other countries of the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy.
According to it, this year, as of 29th May 2022, a total of 21 confirmed cases with one death have been reported from 9 states and the FCT – Adamawa (5), Lagos (4), Bayelsa (2), Delta (2), Cross River (2), FCT (2), Kano (2), Imo (1), and Rivers (1).
It stated that one death was reported in a 40-year-old patient who had underlying co-morbidity and was on immunosuppressive medications.
The NCDC said that among the 21 cases reported in 2022 so far, there had been no evidence of any new or unusual transmission of the virus, nor changes in its clinical manifestation documented (including symptoms, profile and virulence).
It said a National Technical Working Group (TWG) was set up and saddled with the task of monitoring infections and strengthening preparedness and response capacity.
The Disease Agency said that Genomic surveillance was ongoing at NCDC’s National Reference Laboratory in Abuja and so far all of the cases have been confirmed to be caused by the West African clade Monkeypox virus.
“The TWG coordinated the development of national Monkeypox guidelines, capacity building of healthcare workers and surveillance officers on case detection, sample collection, laboratory testing for confirmation and sequencing of the virus at NCDC’s National Reference Laboratory”.
It also intensified public awareness through risk communication.
The Agency said that the Emergency Operations Centre for Monkeypox would continue to monitor the evolving situation to inform public health action accordingly.
“Symptoms of monkeypox include sudden fever, headache, body pain, weakness, sore throat, enlargement of glands (lymph nodes) in the neck and under the jaw, followed by the appearance of a rash (often solid or fluid-filled at the onset) on the face, palms, soles of the feet, genitals and other parts of the body,” it said.
The NCDC emphasised that members of the public should remain aware of the risk of Monkeypox and adhere to public health safety measures.
The centre also urged the public to report to the nearest health facility if they noticed the known signs and symptoms of the disease.
It also advised Healthcare workers to maintain a high index of suspicion for Monkeypox and report any suspected case to the relevant state Epidemiology Team for prompt public health intervention including sampling for confirmatory testing.