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10 October 2017

Monkeypox spreads in Lagos, six other states, cases rise to 31

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control
(NCDC) yesterday announced that fresh
cases of Monkeypox disease had been
recorded in the country. A statement by
the NCDC Chief Executive Officer, Dr.
Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this.
He said 19 fresh cases had been
recorded across the country, aside from
the 12 cases that were earlier recorded
in Bayelsa State. According to the
statement, other states where the
disease has been discovered are Rivers,
Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross
River States.
“Following the notification of a
suspected Monkeypox outbreak on
September 22, 2017 in Bayelsa State,
other suspected cases have been
reported from six more states, bringing
the total number of suspected cases to
31 across seven states.
“Samples have been collected from each
suspected case for laboratory
confirmation and the results are still
being awaited. So far, there have been
no deaths recorded. It is unlikely that
many of the suspected cases are actually
monkeypox, as they were all being
investigated.”
Ihekweazu explained that the suspected
cases are currently receiving appropriate
medical care, even as the patients were
improving clinically. He said the Federal
Ministry of Health, through the NCDC was
supporting the affected states to ensure
that the outbreak was brought under
control.
The epidemiologist disclosed that the
NCDC had activated an Emergency
Operation Centre (EOC) to coordinate
investigation and response to the
disease.
The symptoms include fever, headache,
body pain, malaise, lymphadenopathy
(enlargement of glands), sore throat and
the characteristic generalised vesicular
rash.
While urging general cleanliness, he
added that the rashes might last
between two to four weeks. Monkeypox
is self-limiting, which means patients
could recover with time.
The Lagos State Commissioner for
Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said the blood
samples from the two suspected cases
in the state had been taken to the
laboratory to verify their status.
Idris said although there was no specific
vaccine for the disease, the vaccination
against small pox has been proven to be
85 per cent effective in preventing the
disease.
He urged residents to avoid close
contact with infected people, wash their
hands with soap, as well as avoid the
consumption of bush meat and dead
animals.
In Akwa Ibom State, the state
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic
Ukpong urged the residents not to
panic. He said: “It is only Senegal that
has the equipment to confirm the
disease, so the samples of all suspected
cases have been sent for confirmation.”
In Rivers State, two patients suspected
to be infected with the virus are
currently hospitalised at the University of
Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, (UPTH).
The Chief Medical Director of the
Institution, Prof. Aaron Ojule, who
disclosed this yesterday, said the
patients are in isolation ward where
experts were managing their condition,
pending the outcome of the samples
taken for examination.

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