A disease suspected to be monkeypox has been reported in six more states, after the first case of the pox emerged in Bayelsa late last month, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said Monday.
The affected states include Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun, Bayelsa, Rivers and Cross River States.
Monkeypox is a rare a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rain forests. Its symptoms are very similar to that of smallpox.
The NCDC National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, in a statement on Monday said the agency was awaiting the laboratory results and confirmation of the 31 suspected cases.
Ihekweazu said, “Samples have been collected from each suspected case for laboratory confirmation. Results are still awaited. So far, there have been no deaths recorded.
“It is unlikely that many of the suspected cases are actually monkeypox but all are being investigated. Nigerians are once advised to remain calm, avoid self-medication and report any suspected case to the nearest health facility.Public health authorities across the country have been well informed on what to do when a suspected case arises.”
The NCDC boss said the Federal Government has activated emergency operation centres in affected states to coordinate investigation and response in affected states.
Experts and health officials from the EOC, according to Ihekweazu, will assist the various state Ministries of Health with case finding, epidemiological investigations and contact tracing.