One person has died of monkeypox in Nigeria in 2022, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The last time Nigeria recorded a monkeypox death was in 2019.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.
The NCDC, in a statement, said this year, as of May 28, 2022, a total of 21 confirmed cases have been reported from nine states and the federal capital territory (FCT).
The states that reported cases are Adamawa (5), Lagos (4), Bayelsa (2), Delta (2), Cross River (2), FCT (2), Kano (2), Imo (1), Rivers (1).
The NCDC said the death was reported in a 40-year-old patient who had underlying co-morbidity and was on immunosuppressive medications.
It added that among the 21 cases reported in 2022 so far, there has been “no evidence of any new or unusual transmission of the virus, nor changes in its clinical manifestation documented (including symptoms, profile and virulence)”.
Nigeria has recorded cases of the monkeypox virus since 2017 when it first broke out in the country.
According to updates provided on the NCDC website, from 2017 to date, there have been 247 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Nigeria with nine deaths.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said monkeypox is regularly found in Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana (identified in animals only), Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Monkeypox — or any disease — occurring regularly in a country means it is ‘endemic’ in these countries.
However, over 20 countries where monkeypox is non-endemic have recently recorded cases of the virus, driving global concern.
The WHO said the vast majority of reported cases so far have no established travel links to an endemic area.
It said the identification of confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox with no direct travel links to an endemic area is “atypical”, adding that its sudden appearance simultaneously in several non-endemic countries suggests that “there may have been undetected transmission for some time as well as recent amplifying events”.
The NCDC, in its statement, said on May 26, it activated a national multisectoral emergency operations centre for monkeypox at level 2 to strengthen and coordinate ongoing response activities in-country while contributing to the global response.
“This was based on the report of a preliminary risk assessment done by a group of Subject Matter Experts from the NCDC, relevant government Ministries Departments and Agencies and partner agencies,” the statement reads.
“Genomic surveillance is ongoing at NCDC’s National Reference Laboratory in Abuja and so far all of the cases have been confirmed to be caused by West Africa clade Monkeypox virus.”