*94 suspected cases reported in 11 states

By Sola Ogundipe
The Federal government has announced laboratory confirmation of 6 additional cases of Monkeypox among earlier suspected cases reported bringing the total confirmed cases in Nigeria to 9.

As at the 25th of October 2017, a total of 94 suspected cases have been reported from 11 States including Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo and Lagos. Others are Nasarawa, Niger, Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who made the announcement in Abuja said the newly confirmed cases include 2 cases each in Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom States, one in Enugu State and one in the Federal Capital Territory.

Ehanire who said no fatality had been recorded to date. Noted that investigations are on-going to see if any of the new cases is linked with the Bayelsa cluster, where the outbreak started.

He noted that the newly confirmed cases are patients already being managed by public health authorities and have been receiving appropriate clinical care since onset of the illness.

“The Federal Ministry of Health, through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)s in close contact with all State Epidemiology Teams, as well as the health facilities providing clinical care to both suspected and confirmed cases.

“State Commissioners of Health have 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 a National-level Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the NCDC with support from development partners, is coordinating outbreak investigation and response across affected States.

“The EOC includes the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as experts from partner agencies. The EOC provides daily support to State Ministries of Health in active case finding, epidemiological investigation, contact tracing, case management, psychosocial support and risk communication.

“The NCDC has also deployed Rapid Response Teams to the four States with confirmed cases and measures are in place to ensure proper investigation of all reported cases, effective sample collection and testing, as well as case management of all suspected and confirmed cases.”

Ehanire said risk communication activities have been heightened to advise the public as well as healthcare workers on preventive measures.

“A nationwide communications campaign has begun, to inform Nigerians of key preventive measures to take to curtail the further spread of monkeypox,” he assured.

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