According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, what the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) in London observed as a singular incident has turned into an outbreak of monkeypox in Nigeria (NCDC). The discoveries sparked worries about the eradication of monkeypox and the country’s preparedness for deadly disease outbreaks. The patient is receiving treatment at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, according to the UKHSA.

Some questions arising from the discovery include why wasn’t the disease present in Nigeria? Was the patient a  Nigerian or British? How did he/she sneak into Nigeria? In which of the 32 states with reported cases did the patient get infected? What happened to infectious disease surveillance?

Despite occasional reports of the disease in Nigeria, a National Technical Working Group (TWG) is tracking infections and designing preparedness/response capabilities. Ebola was majorly contained in the country, thanks to strict monitoring by health officials, led by Dr. (Mrs.) Stella Adadevor, who paid the supreme price for her bravery in isolating a disobedient Liberian patient.

From January 1 to April 30 of this year, the NCDC reports 46 presumed monkeypox infections and 15 confirmed cases. There have been no reported fatalities. In April, ten new suspected incidents were identified from seven different states: Bayelsa (3), Delta (1), Edo (1), FCT (1), Kano (1), Lagos (2), and Ogun (1).  From September 2017 to April 30, 2022, 558 suspected incidents were documented.

Despite the fact that there have been few fatalities, the disease’s swift spread necessitates federal, state, and municipal emergency response. This contagious disease necessitates collaboration. The majority of monkeypox victims are not dying. A suicide case of a monkeypox patient in Bayelsa State may have been from frustration with a lack of counseling. All suspected cases should be treated and clinically monitored.

During an epidemic, the NCDC activates an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to coordinate the outbreak, examination, and feedback across all affected states. Even if the illness is minor, the circumstance is still dire. As with Lassa fever, no one should underestimate the disease’s impact. Ebola killed three persons in Lagos in 2014, and a national emergency helped to halt its spread.

Officials should not wait for a disaster to act. If left unchecked, a health hazard could cripple a significant chunk of the population. Since Nigerians migrate frequently, the disease could spread quickly.

Given the disease’s rapid spread and most states’ inability to control it, the federal government should take the lead in containing it. Public sanitary protocols are required. All questionable cases should be quarantined and taken to the nearest hospital.

Monkeypox is a rare zoonotic virus. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle pains, headache, and swollen lymph nodes.  Rash develops, followed by blisters and scabs. The incubation period is ten days, but symptoms appear two to four weeks later.

The virus may be carried by some rodents and squirrels. Consuming these animals has the potential to spread disease. Infection is diagnosed using lesion DNA testing. The same as chickenpox. The disease can be spread by coming in direct contact with infected humans, animals, or contaminated items. Scratches, body fluids, bites, and eating bush meat all contribute to animal-to-human transmission.

The endemic disease first emerged in experimental monkeys in 1958. The first human transmission occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. In 2003, an outbreak in the United States was caused by a pet store that sold imported Gambian rodents. Control methods include wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), taking universal precautions, and isolating suspected or confirmed patients.

Because the two are linked, smallpox vaccination may help prevent infection. Routine immunization was discontinued following the apparent abolition of smallpox. Educate the public right now. Preventive and control information should be distributed by all faith-based organizations, state health ministries, and municipal governments. Personal and environmental hygiene are both important.

When dealing with presumed or known cases, all healthcare staff should wear PPE and wash their hands after coming into contact with contaminated objects or a patient. Improving surveillance systems is mandatory.

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