The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has registered 59 suspected cases of Monkeypox with 15 confirmed, its Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said on Tuesday in Abuja.
This comes days after a Nigerian traveller was hospitalised for the disease in the United States.
Laboratory tests confirmed that the patient was infected with a strain of the virus mainly seen in West Africa, which included Nigeria.
It was the first confirmed case of the virus in the United States since 2003.
Dr Ihekweazu said that the agency has been working closely to monitor the disease in Nigeria and would declare it an outbreak if a large number of cases is reported.
“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 and 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 and 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.”
He added that the FG’s initial focus is on the states with the highest number of cases, including Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Lagos. He also said that the FG will continue working with all states to strengthen monkeypox prevention, detection and control in Nigeria,
“If you feel ill or have a sudden rash, please visit a hospital for diagnosis and management,” he said.