WHO confirms four monkey pox cases in Nigeria

Posted by News Express | 16 October 2017 | 1,963 times

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The Nigerian Government says a total of four cases of the monkey pox virus have been confirmed in the country.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said this during a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

According to the minister, the cases were confirmed after tests were carried out on samples from suspected cases by the World Health Organization, WHO’s laboratory in Dakar, the Senegalese capital

He said: “As of October 13, 2017, there were 17 SUSPECTED cases reported from Yenagoa LGA in Bayelsa State.

“We have received laboratory confirmation for monkey pox virus from three of these cases from the WHO Regional Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal. Samples from 12 other cases from Bayelsa were negative.

“With these results, four suspected monkey pox outbreak in Yenagoa have been confirmed with laboratory evidence. The most likely source of infection is a primary zoonotic transmission, from an animal, with secondary person-to-person transmission.

“Since our initial announcement, a total of 43 other SUSPECTED cases have been reported from eight other States (Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ekiti, Lagos, Enugu, Nasarawa, Rivers, and FCT). Of these, four cases from Lagos have also been tested and confirmed to be negative for the monkey pox virus.

“We expect that many of these cases being reported from other states in Nigeria are not caused by the monkey pox virus, but we will continue to investigate all those cases that fit the case definition.

“Further laboratory tests using whole genome sequencing are being carried out by the Africa Centre for Genomics and Infectious Diseases in Redeemers University Ede, Ogun State.”

The minister has however urged Nigerians not to panic, saying there are two types of the disease; Central African and West African.

He assured that the West African monkey pox, which is the case in Nigeria, is not deadly.

Monkey pox infection is a relatively rare disease that has previously been reported in Nigeria in the 1970s. It is primarily a zoonotic infection i.e. transmitted primarily from animals to humans, with limited subsequent person-to-person transmission.

The most common animal hosts are squirrels, rats and sometimes, monkeys.

The Monkey pox virus can cause an illness with the following symptoms; a generalized vesicular skin rash, fever, and painful jaw swelling. In previous outbreaks, it has led to death in about 1-10% of infected cases.

Although there is no specific medicine to treat the disease, when intensive supportive care is provided most patients recover fully. (TV360 Nigeria)

Source: News Express

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