The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday raised an alert over the increasing cases of the monkeypox disease across the world, particularly in the European Union, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
It further disclosed that it does not know if the transmission of the disease will stop anytime soon, as the disease outbreak is relatively new, with little known about its evolution and transmission.
It therefore urged countries to braise up and increase surveillance of the infectious disease as it expects more cases of the infection, especially community transmission.
As of the time of this report, the global health body revealed that there have been about 200 confirmed cases and more than 100 suspected cases of monkeypox, especially in countries where it usually does not circulate. The European Union has confirmed 118 cases; the United Kingdom has confirmed 90 cases; and the United States has confirmed 9 cases.
In Nigeria, according to data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), between January 1st to April 30th this year, there have been 46 suspected cases, with 15 confirmed cases of the disease from seven states – Adamawa (3), Lagos (3), Cross River (2), FCT (2), Kano (2), Delta (2) and Imo (1) – but no death has been recorded.
However, from September 2017 to April 30th, 2022, a total of eight deaths have been recorded (case fatality rate, CFR= 3.3 per cent) in six states, namely Edo (2), Lagos (2), Imo (1), Cross River (1), FCT (1) and Rivers (1).
The agency disclosed that from September 2017 to April 30th, 2022, a total of 558 suspected cases have been reported from 32 states in the country. Concerning what it is doing to contain the spread of the disease, the NCDC said that the monkeypox National Technical Working Group (TWG) has been monitoring cases and strengthening preparedness/response capacity.
Speaking during a technical briefing on monkeypox at the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva, the Director of Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness (GIH) of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergency Preparedness, Dr Sylvie Briand, explained that there is no need for travel ban or restrictions, mass vaccination, and large immunisation campaigns because monkeypox is transmitted through close physical contact, skin-to-skin contact, face-to-face contact. It therefore stated that contact tracing, investigation and isolation remain the primary mode of control for the time being.