The Federal Government has confirmed six fresh cases of monkeypox including one in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, made the announcement in his office in Abuja on Friday, according to a statement by the Director of Media, Mrs. Boade Akinola.
Ehanire said apart from Abuja, there are two new cases of the disease in Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom states each and one in Enugu.
This brings the total number of confirmed monkeypox cases to nine. Ehanire noted that investigations were ongoing to see if any of the new cases had a link with the Bayelsa cluster, where the outbreak started.
He called for calm among members of the public, as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is working with all affected states to ensure case finding and adequate management.
The minister explained that as frightening as the manifestation of the ailment may seem, “no fatality has been recorded till date. As of October 25, 2017, a total of 94 suspected cases have been reported from 11 states (Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Rivers and the FCT).”
He noted that the newly confirmed cases were patients already being managed by public health authorities and have been receiving appropriate clinical care since the onset of the illness.
Ehanire stated that the Federal Ministry of Health, through the NCDC, was in close contact with all state epidemiology teams, as well as the health facilities providing clinical care to both suspected and confirmed cases.
The minister said health commissioner across the 36s states had 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.
He said the NCDC had also deployed rapid response teams in the four states with confirmed cases.
Ehanire said an interim national guideline for monkeypox had been developed and disseminated to all states for coordination of response activities. This is also available via http://ncdc.gov.ng/themes/common/docs/protocols/50_1508912430.pdf.
He explained that monkeypox is a largely self-limiting disease i.e. a disease that resolves itself. Generalised vesicular skin rashes, fever, and painful jaw swelling are characteristic symptoms associated with an infection. Although there is no specific medicine to treat the disease when intensive supportive care is provided virtually all patients recover fully, as we have seen with the current outbreak.
It is thought that people could get monkeypox if they are bitten or scratched by an animal, or come in contact with animal blood in preparing bushmeat or have contact with an infected animal’s body fluids or sores.
“Monkeypox may also be spread between people through prolonged face-to-face contact, or through contact with body fluids or sores of an infected person, or items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.),” Ehanire said.
Measures that can be taken to prevent infection with Monkeypox virus include avoiding contact with animals that could carry the virus such as rodents or other animals that appear sick or were found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs.