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Nigerian Government Declares Lagos Monkey Pox Free

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The Nigerian Health Minister, Prof Isaac Adewole, has on Monday disclosed that all the Monkey Pox test samples obtained from Lagos tested negative. The Health Minister, who spoke during a pressing conference in Abuja, revealed that only four cases of Monkeypox have been confirmed in Nigeria.

Part of his statement reads:

“As of October 13, 2017, there were 17 suspected cases reported from Yenagoa LGA in Bayelsa State.

“We have received laboratory confirmation for Monkeypox virus from three of these cases from the WHO Regional Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal. Samples from 12 other cases from Bayelsa were negative.

“With these results, four suspected Monkeypox outbreak in Yenagoa have been confirmed with laboratory evidence. The most likely source of infection is a primary zoonotic transmission, from an animal, with secondary person-to-person transmission.

“Since our initial announcement, a total of 43 other suspected cases have been reported from eight other States (Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ekiti, Lagos, Enugu, Nasarawa, Rivers, and FCT). Of these, four cases from Lagos have also been tested and confirmed to be negative for the Monkeypox virus.”

Prof Adewole added that it is expected that many of the cases being reported from other states in Nigeria are not Monkey Pox infections, but he also stressed that the Ministry of Health will, however,  continue to investigate all the cases that fit the case definition.

In addition, he said that further laboratory tests, using whole genome sequencing, are currently being carried out by the Africa Centre for Genomics and Infectious Diseases in Redeemers University Ede, Ogun State.

The current outbreak of Monkey Pox in Nigeria was first reported on October 4, 2017, after 10 persons, including a medical doctor, were reported to have contracted the virus in Bayelsa State.

You would recall that on October 10, 2017, it was reported that 31 persons had been infected as Monkey Pox allegedly spread to Lagos, Ogun, and other states.

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