By Lucy Osuizigbo
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 31 suspected cases of monkey pox have so far been reported in seven states across the country.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of NCDC, made this known on Monday in Abuja.
According to Ihekweazu, following the notification of a suspected monkey pox outbreak on Sept. 22, 2017 in Bayelsa, other suspected cases have been reported from six more states.
He listed the affected states as Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross Rivers.
Ihekweazu said that samples had been collected from each suspected case for laboratory confirmation.
“Results are still being awaited. So far, there have been no deaths recorded.
“It is unlikely that many of the suspected cases are actually monkey pox, but all are being investigated.
“All the suspected cases are currently receiving appropriate medical care, and the patients are all improving clinically in their various states,’’ he said.
Ihekweazu said that the Federal Ministry of Health, through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), was supporting the affected states to ensure the outbreak is brought under control and to limit further spread.
“NCDC has activated an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to coordinate the outbreak investigation and response across the affected states.
“The EOC is currently supporting State Ministries of Health in their response to the outbreak through active case finding, epidemiological investigation and contact tracing.
“Measures have been put in place to ensure effective sample collection and testing for laboratory confirmation.
“Risk communication activities have been heightened to advise the public on preventive measures. All 36 States and the FCT have been notified for preparedness,’’ the NCDC national coordinator said.