Monkeypox: No confirmed case in Nigeria – Minister

Monkeypox: No confirmed case in Nigeria – Minister
October 11 22:52 2017

By Ahmed Idris 

There is no confirmed case of monkeypox in the country yet, Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said on Wednesday.

The minister disclosed this at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja. 

He said the Centre for Disease Control has taken samples for analysis in laboratories in some parts of the country and in Senegal and that the results have not been released yet. 

“FEC received the usual report on public health situation in the country and that report dealt with our current tracking of several outbreaks in the country, we presented the status report on Lassa fever,and we reported that no new confirmed case of lassa fever has been reported in the country, we also reported the declining case of cholera in Borno state and we are quite happy that no death has been reported from borno state.

“There is also an ongoing outbreak of yellow fever which started in kwara, so far we have recorded four cases in kwara, two in Kogi, two in plateau one in Abia and one in Edo, making 10 cases in all, what we have decided to do is to start our reactive campaign in kwara and kogi starting from Friday 13th of this month.

“We have also decided to start a nationwide vaccination against yellow fever, we are going to bring that forward to December because of what is currently ongoing. We quite recognise the fact that we have a large number of Nigerians who are un- immune to yellow fever and so we want to do a nationwide vaccination against yellow fever.

“The other one which is less topical but less deadly is monkey pox and this actually started in Bayelsa and we have recorded 33 suspected cases in all from the states, Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom,Lagos, Ogun and cross river and what is particularly significant is that many of the cases so reported do not fit into the classic prototype of monkey pox but we are trying to confirm before the of today or early tomorrow we should be able to confirm exactly what we are dealing with, is it truly monkey pox. But what is obvious is that we have a disease that is close to the pox family,” he said.

The minister said a scientist, Professor Christian Appeh is looking into it in the laboratory to confirm if truly it’s monkeypox that the country is dealing with. 

He said government is also doing a double confirmation in Senegal because the country has a public health laboratory that could diagnosis the samples.

“There are two types of monkey pox, there is the central African type and the west African type, we suspect that if confirmed we probably have the west African type which is milder because so far we have not recorded any death from monkey pox…We are looking at the two and hopefully in the next 24 or 48 hours we should be able to make a diagnosis as to what we have,” he said.

He called on Nigerians not to panic and report all suspected cases to health facilities and to continue to maintain a high level of hygiene.

“Let’s wash our hands, let’s avoid contact with dead animals,clean our surroundings and as much as possible for health workers to maintain barrier nursing while managing people with suspected cases of monkey pox,” he said.