Monkeypox now in 11 states

Monkeypox now in 11 states
October 29 12:44 2017

The Federal Ministry of health and the World Health Organization have announced that the number of Nigerian states hit by the Monkeypox virus has increased to 11.

According to laboratory confirmation quoted by the two bodies, six other states have been hit by the virus recently.

According to a statement by Mrs Boade Akinola, Director Media and Public Relations in the ministry, two cases were confirmed each in Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom while Enugu State and FCT had one case each.

WHO Reference Laboratory had earlier confirmed three cases in Bayelsa.

Akinola, quoted the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, as saying that investigations were ongoing to see if any of the new cases has a link with the Bayelsa cluster, where the outbreak started.

Ehanire called for calm among members of the public, adding that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is working with all affected states to ensure case finding and adequate management.

He added that as frightening as the manifestation of the ailment might seem, no fatality has been recorded to date.

The NCDC had on September 22 said it received a report of a suspected case of Monkey pox disease from Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Okolobiri, Bayelsa.

The minister said as at the Oct. 25, a total of 94 suspected cases have been reported from 11 states.

He said the states are Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He said patients of the newly confirmed cases were already being managed by public health authorities and have been receiving appropriate clinical care.

He said Ministry, through NCDC, was in close contact with all State Epidemiology Teams, and the health facilities providing clinical care to both suspected and confirmed cases.

He added that State Commissioners of Health have been advised to place all health care facilities and Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers on alert, to ensure early case detection, reporting and effective treatment.

The minister said a National-level Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the NCDC with support from our development partners, was coordinating outbreak investigation and response across affected states.

He added the EOC included the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as experts from partner agencies.

He said the EOC would provide daily support to state ministries of health in active case finding, epidemiological investigation, contact tracing, case management, psychosocial support and risk communication.

Ehanire said the NCDC has also deployed Rapid Response Teams to the four States with confirmed cases.