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October 17, 20195min1210

Chickenpox and Monkeypox have reemerged across Nigeria ravaging the country sending fears across the land.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed this development saying five new cases of monkeypox in Lagos, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states have been reported and verified.

The resurgence came two years after the index case was reported in the country.

While Lagos, in the current reappearance, recorded three cases, Rivers and Akwa Ibom have one each.

The latest situation report on monkeypox and Lassa fever published by the NCDC yesterday said, “In the reporting month (September 2019), 15 new suspected monkeypox cases were reported from five states – Lagos (five), Rivers (two), Akwa Ibom (three), Zamfara (one), Delta (one), Imo (two) and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT (one).

“Five of the 15 suspected cases were confirmed positive for monkeypox
in three states. Five of the suspected cases tested positive for chickenpox, while others are for further evaluation. No death was recorded in the reporting month.”

The NCDC said a total of 81 suspected cases had been reported so far
in 2019, of which 39 confirmed cases were recorded in nine states
(Bayelsa, Lagos, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Anambra, Cross
River, and Oyo), with one death.

The centre noted that of the confirmed cases, 59 percent was from two
states, Delta (28 percent) and Lagos (26 percent); the most affected age group was 21-40 years; and 84.6 percent of confirmed cases had a male-to-female ratio of 2.6:1.

According to the NCDC, since the beginning of the outbreak in
September 2017, 176 confirmed cases and nine deaths have been recorded
in 18 states (Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Delta, Bauchi, FCT, Abia, Oyo, Enugu, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau, Edo, and Anambra).

To address the problem, the chief executive officer of NCDC, Dr.
Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the centre, through the Monkeypox Technical
Working Group, is coordinating the national response and control in
collaboration with states and partners. He said outbreak response
support is provided to states amid ongoing surveillance for Monkeypox
in all states, especially high-risk ones.

Ihekweazu said the World Health Organisation African Region (WHO-Afro)
regional office listed Monkeypox for immediate reporting in the 2018
Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response guidelines.

The epidemiologist said Nigeria also listed Monkeypox as a priority
disease for routine reporting. This will be covered in the 2019
edition of the Nigeria Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response
(IDSR) guidelines. He said surveillance and case management regional
training in the southeast and southwest regions has been rescheduled
to November 2019, and a response team has been deployed to support
enhanced surveillance in Akwa Ibom.

Ihekweazu said animal surveillance is currently being conducted in
Lagos, while the result of similar surveillance in four states (Cross
River, Rivers, Bayelsa and Edo) is being awaited.

According to the NCDC, from January 1 to October 6, 2019, a total of
4019 suspected cases have been reported from 23 states. Of these, 721
were confirmed positive, 18 probable, and 3256 negatives. Also, since
the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 154 deaths in
confirmed cases with a fatality ratio of 21.4 percent.

The NCDC said 23 states (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau,
Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu,
Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi, Cross River, Zamfara, Lagos and Abia) have
recorded at least one confirmed case across 86 local government areas.

The centre said 93 percent of all confirmed cases are from Edo (38
percent), Ondo (30 percent), Ebonyi (7 percent), Bauchi (7 percent),
Taraba (6 percent), and Plateau (5 percent).

According to the NCDC, in reporting week 40, no new healthcare worker
was affected and a total of 19 healthcare personnel have been infected
since the onset of the outbreak in 10 states – Edo (six), Ondo (four),
Ebonyi (two), Enugu (one), Rivers (one), Bauchi (one), Benue (one),
Delta (one), Plateau (one) and Kebbi (one), with two deaths in Enugu
and Edo.

The NCDC said 12 patients were currently being managed at various
treatment centres across the country: 11 at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) treatment Centre, Edo State; and one patient at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, The Guardian reports.

Additional reports from agencies.

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