WHO Lab confirms Nigeria’s Monkeypox outbreak

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Weeks after the first suspected case was reported, Nigeria now has lab confirmation of Monkeypox outbreak

As at 13th of October 2017, there were 17 SUSPECTED cases reported from Yenagoa LGA in Bayelsa State but today, Nigerian government announced it has received laboratory confirmation for Monkeypox virus from three of these cases from the WHO Regional Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal. Samples from 12 others from Bayelsa were negative, and we are awaiting two results.

“With these results, the Monkeypox outbreak in Yenagoa has been confirmed with laboratory evidence. The most likely source of infection is a primary zoonotic transmission, from an animal, with secondary person-to-person transmission,” said the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The center said a total of 43 other SUSPECTED cases have been reported from eight other States (Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ekiti, Lagos, Enugu, Nasarawa, Rivers, and FCT). Of these, four cases from Lagos have also been tested and confirmed to be negative for the Monkeypox virus.

“We expect that many of these cases being reported from other states in Nigeria are not caused by the Monkeypox virus, but we will continue to investigate all those cases that fit the case definition,” NCDC added.

The government also announced the establishment of an Emergency Operations Centre to co-ordinate the response across States and test samples from other cases.

 

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Paul is a university lecturer, medical researcher, extensively published author and freelance contributor. He holds a MSc degree in cell biology and genetics, and is a PhD candidate of the University of Ibadan.

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