Monday, July 4, 2022

Monkeypox: Nigeria Records 141 Cases In 13 States 

Monkeypox
Monkeypox

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that as many as 141 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported in-country, up from the previous 110 cases. 

The NCDC disclosed this via its verified website today (June 17, 2022). 

Science Nigeria reports that when scientists investigate the spread of infectious disease, one area they look at is the genetic sequences of the pathogen. 

However, the monkeypox virus is now causing an unprecedented outbreak of several hundred infections in some 30 countries where it’s not typically seen.

The DNA viruses, particularly those with relatively big genomes like poxviruses (the family that includes monkeypox), generally accrue mutations much more slowly than, say, an RNA virus-like SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.  

That means that examining the sequences might be less fruitful in terms of tracking how the virus is spreading from person to person. There are fewer chances to the virus’ genome that might shine a light on transmission chains.

But as researchers around the world share sequences from the current outbreak, the genomes have revealed something odd: There are way more mutations than expected.

So many mutations in such a short amount of time might seem worrisome, if, perhaps, it meant the virus was evolving to spread more efficiently among people. But scientists have a different hypothesis (still a hypothesis, they stress, one that needs to be further studied) about what these mutations say about these infections and, in turn, what that can illuminate about the outbreak. 

The NCDC said from January 1 to June 12, 2022, there have been 141 suspected cases in total and 36 confirmed cases from 15 states. 

The states are Lagos (7), Adamawa (5), Delta (3), River (3), Cross River (2), FCT (2), Kano (2), Bayelsa (2), Edo (2), Imo (2), Plateau (2), Nasarawa (1), Niger (1), Oyo (1) and Ondo (1).

“One death was recorded in a 40-year-old man with co-morbidity that was receiving immune-suppressive drugs.

“Overall and from September 2017 to 12th June 2022, a total of 653 suspected cases have been reported from 33 states in the country.

“Of the reported cases, 262 (40.1 per cent) have been confirmed in 23 states – Rivers (55), Bayelsa (45), Lagos (37), Delta (32), Cross River (16), Edo (12), Imo (10), Akwa Ibom (7), Oyo (7), FCT (8), Plateau (5), Adamawa (5), Enugu (4), Abia (3), Nasarawa (3), Benue (2), Anambra (2), Ekiti (2), Kano (2), Niger (2), Ebonyi (1), Ogun (1) and Ondo (1).

“In addition, from September 2017 to June 12th, 2022, a total of nine (9) deaths have been recorded (CFR= 3.4 per cent) in six states – Lagos (3), Edo (2), Imo (1), Cross River (1), FCT (1) and Rivers (1),” it stated. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a list of safe sexual activities for sexually active patients to follow. Among the recommendations are to “masturbate together at a distance of at least 6 feet”’ or “consider covering areas where rash or sores are present when having sex”.

Racheal Abujah
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