OFFICIAL: Nigeria records 33 suspected cases of Monkeypox

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has confirmed that 33 suspected cases of monkeypox had so far been recorded in seven states of the federation.

Adewole made this known to State House correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.

He disclosed that the outbreak of the disease was reported in Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross River states.

However, he maintained that the reported cases did not fit into the classic prototype of monkeypox, saying that one of the ministry’s Scientist, Prof. Christian Appeh, is looking into it to confirm whether the disease is monkeypox or not.

“What is particularly significant is that many of the cases so reported do not fit into the classic prototype of monkey pox but we are trying to confirm.

“Before the end of today or early tomorrow we should be able to confirm exactly what we are dealing with, is it truly monkeypox.

“But what is obvious is that we have a disease that is close to the pox family.

“One of our scientists, Prof. Christian Appeh, is looking into it in the laboratory to confirm if it is truly monkeypox; we are also doing a double confirmation in Senegal because Senegal also has a public health lab that could make diagnosis.

“We are looking at the two and hopefully in the next 24 or 48 hours we should be able to make a diagnosis as to what we have,” he said.

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According to the minister, there are two types of Monkeypox – the Central African type and the West African type.

He said, the disease if confirmed, might be the West African type “which is milder because so far we have not recorded any death from monkeypox.”

Adewole, therefore, advised Nigerians not to panic as the disease was under control, adding that they should always report all suspected cases to health facilities.

He also enjoined citizens to continue to maintain a high level of hygiene.

He said, “Let’s wash our hands, let’s avoid contact with dead animals, clean our surroundings and as much as possible for health workers to maintain barrier nursing while managing people with suspected cases of monkeypox.”

The minister revealed that the federal government would look into the Yayale Ahmed’s Report on the health sector.

He said that already the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation had been mandated to forward the white paper on the Report to the Council with a view to restore harmony in the health sector.

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