Nigeria has registered 59 suspected cases of Monkeypox disease.
Confirming this position, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said, “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; as well as 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 as well as 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; as well as control in Nigeria,” the NCDC statement reads.
The case was the first confirmed case of the virus in the U.S. since 2003, with health officials; saying that the public should not be concerned.
Laboratory tests confirmed that the patient was infected with a strain of the virus; mainly seen in West Africa, which included Nigeria
“While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public,” Dallas County Judge, Clay Jenkins, said in a statement by Dallas County’s health department.
With passengers wearing masks on the flight and in the airport, the health department said that the risk of spreading monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports was low.
Ihekweazu, assured 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.