Monkeypox is a viral disease transmitted from animals to humans and from humans to humans.
The reported cases of Monkeypox in Nigeria keeps rising as it spreads to 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), raising fears among citizens.
The federal government has recorded over 473 suspected cases and 172 confirmed cases of the disease from January to August, this year.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the number of cases recorded in the country so far this year is higher than those recorded each in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. In the whole of 2017, there were 88 confirmed cases, 49 in 2018, 47 in 2019, 8 in 2020 and 34 in 2021.
The rising case of the disease globally had pushed the Director-General of the World Health Organization,Tedros Gebreyesus, to declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern.
Speaking to Journalists, an epidemiologist and microbiologist with the African Field Epidemiology Network, Dr Muhammad Shakir Balogun, stated that there is a need to quickly act to reduce the spread of monkeypox.
“To protect yourself, avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox; don’t touch the rash of a person with monkeypox; don’t kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox; avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used; don’t share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox; don’t handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
“In addition, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals as well as bedding or other materials they’ve touched.”
According to him, though there are vaccines for monkeypox, they’re not widely available yet and “where they’re available, they’re given to people at high risk.”