12 May 2022 | Abuja – Monkeypox Case in the United Kingdom with Travel History to Nigeria
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been officially notified by United Kingdom (UK) authorities of a confirmed case of Monkeypox with a connection to Nigeria.
We would like to provide some more details about this case. On 7th May 2022, the NCDC was notified by the UK International Health Regulations (IHR) national focal point of a case of monkeypox detected in a patient with recent travel history to Nigeria. The individual is a UK resident who arrived in Nigeria on 20th April 2022, travelled to Lagos and Delta States during the time spent in Nigeria, departed Lagos on 3rd May 2022 and arrived in the UK on 4th May 2022. While in Nigeria, the case did not report being in contact with anyone with symptoms of monkeypox or other illness with rash. The diagnosis of monkeypox (West African clade) was confirmed by PCR in the UK on 6th May 2022. The patient is currently stable and receiving care in the UK.
The NCDC is investigating the incident in collaboration with the Lagos and Delta State Ministries of Health. In addition, the Monkeypox Technical Working Group comprising the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), US Centers for Disease Control (US CDC) and coordinated by the NCDC is collaborating to strengthen in-country capacity to prevent, detect and respond to Monkeypox cases in the country.
Since the re-emergence of monkeypox in Nigeria in September 2017, the country has continued to record sporadic cases of the disease from states across the country. Between September 2017 and 30th April 2022, a total of 558 cases and 8 deaths have been confirmed from 22 states. Of these, 15 cases have been confirmed in 2022 alone - this does NOT constitute an outbreak. The highest number of cases have been reported from states in the South-South region of Nigeria. NCDC’s monthly situation report on Monkeypox can be accessed using this link - https://ncdc.gov.ng/diseases/sitreps/?cat=8&name=An%20Update%20of%20Monkeypox%20Outbreak%20in%20Nigeria
We re-assure Nigerians of the NCDC’s capacity to effectively diagnose and respond to cases of Monkeypox. The National Reference Laboratory (NRL) in Abuja has the capacity to test for cases of Monkeypox with a quick turn-around time. We urge anyone who has fluid-filled body rashes (vesicular rash), enlargement of glands and other symptoms of monkeypox stated below to report to any public health facility near them for proper diagnosis and care. Any healthcare worker that suspects a case of Monkeypox, should reach out to their LGA Disease surveillance and Notification Officers or State Ministry of Health (Epidemiology team) for appropriate guidance and action. Guidelines on the management of Monkeypox cases and outbreaks can be found on the NCDC’s website https://ncdc.gov.ng/themes/common/docs/protocols/96_1577798337.pdf
Monkeypox is a virus that is spread primarily from animals to humans, with symptoms such as fever, headache, body pain, malaise, enlargement of glands (lymphadenopathy), sore throat and fluid-filled body rashes (vesicular rash). This may last for two to four weeks. Transmission is via direct contact with infected animals, human, or contaminated materials. The virus does not spread easily between people and the risk of transmission to the wider public is very low.
Monkeypox is generally self-limiting, which means patients tend to recover in a couple of weeks. However, supportive care and management of the condition is required and mostly successful. Control measures include isolation of suspected or confirmed cases, strict adherence to universal precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water and the use of personal protective equipment.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is the country’s national public health institute, with the mandate to lead the preparedness, detection, and response to public health emergencies. The Bill for an Act to establish NCDC was signed into law in November 2018, by President Muhammadu Buhari. The mission for the NCDC is, ‘To protect the health of Nigerians through evidence-based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response, using a One-Health approach, guided by research, and led by a skilled workforce’.
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Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control