By ABUJAH RACHEAL
Abuja- The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), says it is investigating the incident of Monkeypox with a connection to Nigeria in collaboration with the Lagos and Delta State Ministries of Health.
The Director-General, NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday from Abuja, that the investigation is also being done with the Monkeypox Technical Working Group.
The group comprises the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and US Centres for Disease Control (US CDC).
NAN reports that the NCDC has been officially notified by United Kingdom (UK) authorities of a confirmed case of Monkeypox with a connection to Nigeria.
Monkeypox is a virus that is spread primarily from animals to humans, with symptoms such as fever, headaches, body pains, malaise and enlargement of glands (lymphadenopathy).
Other symptoms of monkeypox, which could last for two to four weeks, include sore throat and fluid-filled body rashes (vesicular rash).
Transmission is via direct contact with infected animals, human, or contaminated materials. The virus does not spread easily between people and the risk of transmission to the wider public is very low.
Monkeypox is generally self-limiting, which means patients tend to recover in a couple of weeks. However, supportive care and management of the condition is required and mostly successful.
Control measures include isolation of suspected or confirmed cases, strict adherence to universal precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, and the use of personal protective equipment.
Adetifa said that the NCDC would be coordinating the collaboration to strengthen in-country capacity to prevent, detect and respond to Monkeypox cases in the country.
“We would like to provide some more details about this case. On 7th May 2022, the NCDC was notified by the UK International Health Regulations (IHR) national focal point of a case of monkeypox detected in a patient with recent travel history to Nigeria.
“The individual is a UK resident who arrived in Nigeria on 20th April 2022, travelled to Lagos and Delta States during the time spent in Nigeria, departed Lagos on 3rd May, 2022, and arrived in the UK on 4th May, 2022.
“While in Nigeria, the case did not report being in contact with anyone with symptoms of monkeypox or other illnesses with rash. The diagnosis of monkeypox (West African clade) was confirmed by PCR in the UK on 6th May 2022.
“The patient is currently stable and receiving care in the UK,” he said.
The DG said that since the re-emergence of monkeypox in the country in September 2017, the country has continued to record sporadic cases of the disease from states across the country.
“Between September 2017 and 30th April 2022, a total of 558 cases and eight deaths have been confirmed from 22 states. Of these, 15 cases were confirmed in 2022 alone – this does NOT constitute an outbreak.
“The highest number of cases have been reported from states in the South-South region of Nigeria. NCDC’s monthly situation report on Monkeypox can be accessed using this link – https://ncdc.gov.ng/diseases/sitreps/?cat=8&name=An%20Update%20of%20Monkeypo x%20Outbreak%20in%20Nigeria
“We re-assure Nigerians of the NCDC’s capacity to effectively diagnose and respond to cases of Monkeypox. The National Reference Laboratory (NRL) in Abuja has the capacity to test for cases of Monkeypox with a quick turn-around time.
“We urge anyone who has fluid-filled body rashes (vesicular rash), enlargement of glands and other symptoms of monkeypox to report to any public health facility near them for proper diagnosis and care.
“Any healthcare worker that suspects a case of Monkeypox, should reach out to their Local Government Area Disease surveillance and Notification Officers or State Ministry of Health (Epidemiology team) for appropriate guidance and action.
“Guidelines on the management of Monkeypox cases and outbreaks can be found on the NCDC’s website https://ncdc.gov.ng/themes/common/docs/protocols/96_1577798337.pdf ,” he said. (NAN)