According to health officials in Nigeria, at least 76 suspected cases of monkeypox, including two deaths, were reported nationwide between January 1, and September 15. The most affected areas include Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Oyo, Abia, Anambra, Plateau, and FCT. Officials have deployed medical teams to the affected areas to hinder further spread of the disease.
Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by a virus. Infection results from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or rashes of infected animals (e.g. monkeys, Gambian rats, or squirrels). Secondary transmission is human-to-human, resulting from close contact with infected respiratory tract excretions, with the skin lesions of an infected person, or with recently contaminated objects. The infection can be divided into two periods: the invasion period symptoms of which include fever, intense headache, lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph node), back pain, myalgia (muscle aches), and an intense asthenia (lack of energy). In the second phase symptoms include a rash on the face (in 95 percent of cases) as well as on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet (75 percent of cases) and elsewhere on the body. There is no vaccine or treatment against the disease, although the smallpox vaccination has proven to be 85 percent effective in preventing monkeypox.
Individuals present in Nigeria should avoid contact with both domestic and wild animals, take appropriate hygienic precautions (wash hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid contact with potentially infected persons, etc.), and follow any instructions provided by health authorities.
On a more general note, the security environment in Nigeria is complex and particularly poor in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Some Western governments consequently advise against travel to certain areas of the northeast (e.g. states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Jigawa as well as parts of Kano and Adamawa states) and the southern Niger Delta region (e.g. states of Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers). Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to these areas.
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