The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed 15 cases of monkeypox disease in Nigeria, with 59 suspected cases, following the discovery of an infection on a Dallas, Texas resident who recently returned from Nigeria and tested positive to the disease.
A laboratory tests confirmed that the patient was infected with a strain of the virus mainly seen in West Africa, which included Nigeria. The resident had stopped in Atlanta from Lagos, Nigeria before arriving in Dallas during July 8-9. According to the US Cenre for Disease Control, the patient had a rash on July 7, reported to the hospital on July 13 and was found to have tested positive for monkeypox.
While the US sought the exposures the patient has had, the Dallas County asked residents to remain calm. “While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public”, the Dallas County Judge, Clay Jenkins, was said to have said in a statement by Dallas County’s health department. The monkeypox discovery is the first confirmed case of the virus in the U.S. since 2003, and the health officials asked that the public should not be concerned.
Reacting to the story, the NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on Tuesday in Abuja told NAN that just as the agency responded to other epidemic prone diseases in the country, an outbreak would be declared when there was a large cluster of monkeypox cases that constituted an emergency. He urged Nigerians to continue adhering to precautions that protected them from monkeypox and other infectious diseases, and report to the hospital if they experience rashes.
“The Federal Government was notified of the situation in Texas, through the International Health Regulations (IHR), who reported a case of monkeypox disease diagnosed in a patient who had recently visited Nigeria. Since the re-emergence of monkeypox 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 been working closely with state health ministries to strengthen monkeypox disease surveillance and response in the country.”
“We work with Enhanced Monkeypox Surveillance Project where we have been training health workers across states to rapidly detect and manage cases. Our initial focus is on the states with the highest number of cases – Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Lagos. We will continue working with all states to strengthen monkeypox prevention, detection and control in Nigeria”, he explained. Advising, he added, “If you feel ill or have a sudden rash, please visit a hospital for diagnosis and management”.
TRENDING VIDEO OF THE DAY: Popular Nollywood Actor Rotimi Salami Robbed In Lagos Traffic Photos Credit: Getty