JUST-IN: Anambra Records First Case Of Monkeypox

Pox virus, illustration. Pox viruses are oval shaped and have double-strand DNA. There are many types of Pox virus including Chickenpox, Monkeypox and Smallpox. Smallpox was eradicated in the 1970's. Infection occurs because of contact with contaminated animals or people and results in a rash or small bumps on the skin.

A case of Monkeypox disease has been recorded in Anambra State.


The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike, said the victim is a resident of Anambra East local government area of the State where he contracted the disease.


He said that the victim was being attended to in an isolated treatment ward at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, (NAUTH) in Nnewi.


Obidike said the state’s preparedness and response team had been on alert mode since the alarm was raised about the outbreak of the disease in some parts of the country early this year.


He added that the surveillance team of the state’s preparedness and response team had about two weeks ago received information about two suspected cases of Monkeypox disease, explaining that while one suspect is a resident of Anambra East local government area, the other was reported around the Oyi and Onitsha local government areas.


He said that the two suspected cases were consequently isolated, and that the one from Anambra East local government area eventually tested positive on Thursday.


He said, “Few weeks ago, two suspected cases of monkeypox were reported in Anambra East, Onitsha and Oyi Local Government Areas, out of which the case from Anambra East LGA was confirmed positive.


“The case is currently at the isolation centre of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, where he is receiving treatment and recovering.


“In light of the above, Governor Charles Soludo immediately declared the incident an outbreak and an emergency preparedness and response committee meeting was immediately convened on Wednesday.


“The meeting was attended by relevant stakeholders including World Health Organisation team and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). They are providing necessary assistance to the state


“Planning for immediate response to the outbreak and surveillance, Laboratory, Case management, Risk Communication and Community Engagement, Infection Prevention and Control and Safe Burial pillars, were activated.”


Obidike said the state government had commenced the training of health personnel and response officers on enhanced active case search, sample collections and Monkeypox management as well as intensified public awareness.


He urged residents not to panic and report to the hospital for proper examination whenever they notice rashes on their skin.


“Once it is established at the hospital, the patient will be taken to our Isolation centres for treatment. We have activated all our Isolation centres in the state.


“We urge residents to remain calm and stay safe as we mitigate this outbreak of Monkeypox in the state. We shall overcome again,” he added.


Also speaking, Dr. Adamu Abdulnasir, Anambra State Coordinator, WHO, said the organisation would support the state in terms of outbreak response, surveillance and capacity building.


“Since we heard about the two suspected cases, WHO has supported in the areas of sample collection and taking the sample to the lab. When the results came out, we carried out contact tracing as well as case and risks management.


“In Nigeria so far, we have recorded 41 cases of Monkeypox with one death. The Government is taking proactive measure to bring this outbreak to a stop and sensitise people on how to prevent and protect themselves,” Abdulnasir stated.


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