Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Nigeria Records Additional 21 Monkeypox Cases 

Boy with Monkeypox
Boy with Monkeypox

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said additional 21 monkeypox cases have been reported in the last seven days, in addition to the six deaths recorded across six states between January 1 and August 21, 2022.

Providing the update via its official website yesterday (September 11, 2022), the NCDC said that monkeypox is spread by close contact and exposure to an infected person’s respiratory droplets, skin lesions or bodily fluids.

The public health institute said that monkeypox symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, fever and a rash that may initially be mistaken for chickenpox or a sexually transmitted disease if in the genital or anal region.

It said that the six states with monkeypox deaths reported include Delta (1), Lagos (1), Ondo (1) Akwa Ibom (1), Taraba (1) and Kogi (1), with a case fatality ratio (CFR) of 2.4 per cent. 

According to it, in one week, between August 15 and 21, 2022, two states – Taraba and Kogi – recorded a total of two deaths. 

It said that the total number of confirmed cases of monkeypox in the country has also risen to 241, with 21 new cases reported in one week, between August 15 and 21, 2022.

The NCDC said that the 21 confirmed cases were reported from 12 states, namely: Lagos (7), Adamawa (2), Ebonyi (2), Imo (2), Akwa Ibom (1), Anambra (1), Edo (1), FCT (1), Katsina (1), Kaduna (1), Kogi (1) and Ondo (1).

“[Of] the 241 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the country, Lagos State has the highest burden of the disease, with 42 confirmed cases since the beginning of the year. 

“This translates to 17.4 per cent of the total burden of the disease in the country.

“Overall, since the re-emergence of monkeypox in September 2017 and August 21, 2022, a total of 1,116 suspected cases have been reported from 35 states in the country. Of these 1,116 suspected cases, there have been 467 (41.8 per cent) confirmed (309 male, 158 female) from 32 states. 

“In addition, from September 2017 to August 21st, 2022, a total of 14 deaths have been recorded, with cases’ fatality rate of 3 per cent, in 10 states, namely, Lagos (3), Edo (2), Imo (1), Cross River (1), FCT (1), Rivers (1), Ondo (1) Delta (1), Akwa Ibom (1), Taraba (1) and Kogi (1),” it explained. 

Science Nigeria reports that monkeypox is an infection caused by a virus similar to the now-eradicated smallpox virus. 

It has been most common in some African countries, but outbreaks have occurred in other areas occasionally. 

In 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a global health emergency since monkeypox had spread to many countries through social interactions and intimate contacts.

While monkeypox cases spreading globally in 2022 can cause severe disease, the infection most often clears up on its own. Monkeypox may be most severe in young children, especially if they have poor nutritional status. 

In previous years fatal cases have occurred, primarily among children in Africa. Vaccines can prevent monkeypox. 

They are currently in short supply and is used to prevent monkeypox disease in people who have been exposed to the virus. 

When it becomes more widely available, the vaccine may be appropriate to protect at-risk populations, such as men who have sex with men, bisexual people, commercial sex workers and others who engage in behaviors that put them at higher risk for encountering the virus that causes monkeypox.

The infection continues to spread, but because transmission requires close personal contact, the rate is much slower than that of SARS-CoV-2 virus (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19) and causes fewer cases. 

Racheal Abujah
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