The spread of monkeypox cases in Nigeria has unprecedentedly increased to 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This development has prompted experts to urge all concerned parties to intensify action in containing the problem.
Monkeypox is a viral illness that spreads from humans to animals and from humans to people.
It was gathered that 473 suspected cases and 172 confirmed cases have been reported from January to August of this year.
The number of cases reported in the nation so far this year is higher than those reported in each of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, according to an examination of situation reports from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Throughout 2017, there were 88 confirmed cases, 49 in 2018, 47 in 2019, 8 in 2020 and 34 in 2021.
The latest NCDC situation report revealed that in the first week of August alone, 60 suspected cases were recorded from 10 states out of which 15 new confirmed cases were recorded.
The states that have recorded monkeypox cases since the beginning of the year are Lagos (20), Ondo (16), Adamawa (13), Rivers (13), Delta (12), Bayelsa (12), Edo (9), Nasarawa (9), Anambra (7), Imo (7), Plateau (6), Taraba (5).
The rest are Kwara (5), Kano (5), Abia (4), Cross River (3), Borno (3), Oyo (3), Gombe (3), Katsina (2), Kogi (2), Ogun (2), Niger (1), Bauchi (1), Akwa Ibom (1) and Ebonyi (1) as well as FCT (7).
According to Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, the Director-General, NCDC, since the re-emergence of monkeypox in 2017, the agency had made investments to increase surveillance, diagnostics, risk communications and research capacity despite limited resources.
“These investments, coupled with an awareness of the ongoing global outbreak, have increased Nigerians’ awareness of the disease leading to an increase in the number of monkeypox cases detected in Nigeria.
“The monkeypox virus in circulation (clade IIa formerly known as the West African clade) is the same as before and has not changed in virulence. Research has shown that this variant is self-limiting.”