Monkeypox

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has reported additional 41 new cases of Monkeypox disease between Aug. 29 and Sept. 4, from 12 states of the Federation.

The NCDC via its official website on Sunday said that the 12 states were: Lagos (14), Abia (7), Imo (6), Ogun (5), Ondo (2), Akwa Ibom (1), Borno (1), Delta (1), Osun (1), Oyo (1), Plateau (1) and Rivers (1).

It stated that there has been 815 suspected cases, 318 confirmed cases and seven deaths from Monkeypox so far in the country in 2022.

The Public Health Agency said that the seven deaths were recorded in seven states in 2022: Delta (1), Lagos (1), Ondo (1),  Akwa Ibom (1), Kogi (1), Taraba (1) and Imo (1), with Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) of 2.2 per cent.

According to NCDC, Since 2017 till date, only four states in country accounted for 270 out of 544 cases of Monkeypox in the country – Lagos (93), Rivers (71), Bayelsa (62) and Delta (44).

The Nigerian Public Health Institute said that this translates to approximately 50 per cent (49.6 per cent) of the total number of confirmed cases.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), 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 from time to time.

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 had occurred, primarily among children in Africa.

Vaccines can prevent monkeypox but they are currently in short supply and are 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 behaviour that put them at higher risk.

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

Meanwhile, Europe and North America have been following a gradual downward trajectory.

Public Health experts have suggested that if it  persists, it will “probably persist at sporadic low levels”.

The experts said that many other countries have also seen recent outbreaks and it became apparent there had been human-to-human transmission, with the vast majority of cases in men who had sex with men.

They said that since May 2022, there have been more than 65,000 cases reported worldwide and the World Health Organisation called it a global public health emergency in July.

Although, WHO noted that the data was not  clear-cut, it looked like behaviour change would  have made a difference to those numbers.

This might be because people started isolating once they recognised symptoms or checked their partners for unusual spots or lesions.

The UN agency said  that the best way to ensure that cases stayed low was to continue to vaccinate those at risk and maintain strict  surveillance.

“The take-home message from WHO is that vaccines are being rolled out, if you’re offered one, make sure to take it”. 

“And if you might be at risk but haven’t received any vaccination at all; then make use of new supplies of the jab coming on board, as even one dose offers a high level of protection.

“And most importantly – if you have symptoms, stay at home, call your local sexual health clinic and avoid sharing towels or bedding until you’ve been told what to do,” the UN health agency  explained.

Meanwhile, globally, by Sept. 28, 106 countries reported a total of 67,556 laboratory-confirmed cases and 3,193 probable cases, including 27 deaths, according to WHO. (NAN)

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