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Monkeypox: Nigeria records additional 41 cases 7 days

WHO to decide global health status of monkeypox Thursday

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

The NCDC via its official website on Sunday listed the 12 states to include 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 said there have 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 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 percent.

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

This, the agency said, translated to approximately 50 per cent (49.6 percent) of the total number of confirmed cases.

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.

Read also: Private Health Alliance, Sanofi team up to assess Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy

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 WHO 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.