The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has announced laboratory confirmation of six additional cases among the suspected cases of Monkeypox.
These include two cases each in Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom States, one in Enugu State and one in the Federal Capital Territory, making it a total of nine confirmed cases of Monkeypox in Nigeria.
Dr. Ehanire who announced this over the weekend in his office in Abuja said investigations were ongoing to see if any of the new cases have 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 (NCDC) is working with all affected States to ensure case finding and adequate management.
He added that as frightening as the manifestation of the ailment may seem, no fatality has been recorded to date.
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 Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He noted that the newly confirmed cases are patients already being managed by public health authorities and have been receiving appropriate clinical care since the onset of the illness.
The Federal Ministry of Health, through the NCDC, is 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.
“A national-level Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the NCDC with support from our development partners, is coordinating outbreak investigation and response across affected states,” Ehinare said.
“The EOC includes the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as experts from partner agencies.”
“The NCDC has also deployed Rapid Response Teams to the four states with confirmed cases. Measures have been put 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.”
“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.”
Nigerians are advised to always wash hands with soap and water after contact with animals, when caring for sick relatives, or managing soiled beddings.