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Monkeypox: NCDC records 59 suspected cases, 15 confirmed

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Monkeypox: NCDC records 59 suspected cases, 15 confirmed

By Abujah Racheal

The Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 59 suspected cases of monkey pox, including 15 confirmed, its director general, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ihekweazu was responding to the Dallas, Texas resident who recently returned from Nigeria and tested positive for the disease.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reports that this is the first confirmed case of the virus in the United States since 2003, with health officials saying the public should not be concerned.

Laboratory tests confirmed that the patient was infected with a strain of the virus primarily seen in West Africa, which included Nigeria.

“Although rare, this case is not a cause for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a Department of Health statement. of Dallas County.

With passengers wearing masks on the flight and at the airport, the health department said the risk of spreading monkey pox via respiratory droplets to other people on planes and at airports was low. .

Ihekweazu told NAN that just as the agency responded to other epidemic-prone diseases in the country, an epidemic would be declared when there was a large cluster of monkeypox cases constituting an emergency.

“The federal government was made aware of the situation in Texas, through the International Health Regulations (IHR), which reported a case of monkeypox diagnosed in a patient who had recently traveled to Nigeria.

“Since the re-emergence of monkey pox in the country in September 2017, the agency has continued to receive reports and responses to sporadic cases of the disease from states across the country.

“We have worked closely with state health ministries to strengthen surveillance and response to monkey pox in the country.

“We are working with the Enhanced Monkeypox Surveillance Project where we have trained health workers in all states to quickly detect and manage cases.

“Our initial focus is on the states with the most cases – Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Lagos.

“We will continue to work with all states to strengthen the prevention, detection and control of monkey pox in Nigeria,” he explained.

He urged Nigerians to continue to adhere to the precautions that protected them from monkey pox and other infectious diseases.

“If you feel sick or have a sudden rash, please go to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment,” he advised.

NAN recalls that Monkeypox, which belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox, is a rare but potentially fatal viral infection that begins with flu-like symptoms and progresses to a rash on the face and body.

It tends to last two to four weeks. People who do not have symptoms are not able to transmit the virus.

Monkeypox infections of this strain are fatal in about one in 100 people, affecting most people with weakened immune systems. (NAA)

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