The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday suspected 59 cases of Monkeypox in Nigeria.
The Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu made this known while reacting to the Dallas, Texas resident who recently returned from Nigeria and tested positive to the disease.
Ihekweazu stated that with the 59 suspected cases, 15 cases were registered adding that laboratory tests confirmed patients were infected with a strain of the virus mainly seen in West Africa, which included Nigeria.
“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 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, therefore, urged Nigerians to continue adhering to precautions that protected them from monkeypox and other infectious diseases, saying if you feel ill or have a sudden rash, please visit a hospital for diagnosis and management.
Monkeypox, which 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. It was the first confirmed case of the virus in the U.S. since 2003.