Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

WEST AFRICA––Dozens of suspected cases of monkeypox have been widely recounted across Nigeria in the past several weeks, according to health officials.

Health officials in the most populated country in Africa have called for calm after uncovering series of suspected cases of monkeypox in seven states in the southern territories of the country.

According to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), about thirty-three, suspected cases of the virus-related disorder have been recognized since the first incident was reported on September 22 in Bayelsa State.

Authorities confirmed that the affected states include Lagos, which has a capital with a population of about 20 million people, the largest population in any city in sub-Saharan Africa.

Chikwe Ihekweazu, the national coordinator of the NCDC, said in a press statement on Monday that samples from the outbreak had been sent to laboratories.  Ihekweazu said that, so far, no new case had been confirmed.

It is “unlikely” that several of the alleged cases are monkeypox, he said, but inquiries are necessary.

Adding, “Nigerians are advised to remain calm, avoid self-medication and report any suspected case to the nearest health facility”

The NCDC was established as an emergency operation center to assist states control and limit any outbreak. Affected patients were all “improving” at medical facilities, Ihekweazu added.
Authorities in Nigeria have published public health messages urging people to wash their hands frequently as well as avoid eating bushmeat.

According to medical and research authorities at the World Health Organization (WHO), monkeypox is a rare disease that happens chiefly in inaccessible areas of central and west Africa near tropical rainforests.

The disease symptoms are parallel to those discovered in human smallpox patients but much less harsh in addition to having a low fatality rate.

According to officials at the WHO, the virus is diffused from monkeys, African squirrels, and other wild animals. There are also possibilities of a Human-to-human transmission, but the probabilities are thin.

Researchers say the symptoms include aches, body pain, and fever as well as a bumpy localized rash on the skin.

International health data revealed that in September 2017, at least 10 people in the Central African Republic died from a monkeypox outbreak.  Other monkeypox fatalities occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo.