Barely two weeks after the government of the United Kingdom confirmed Monkeypox in an unidentified individual who travelled from Nigeria, health authorities in Spain issued an alert over a possible outbreak of the viral infection in the country.
The Spanish health ministry said eight suspected cases of the infection have been discovered in the Madrid region after eight men showed symptoms compatible with the infection, the Guardian reports.
It added that while the suspected cases are being analysed by the National Microbiology Centre to obtain a definitive diagnosis, a nationwide alert had been issued “to guarantee a swift, coordinated and timely response.”
Meanwhile, five cases have also been detected in Portugal with 15 cases still under investigation, while the UK has six other cases apart from the first person with travel history to Nigeria.
Nigeria makes clarification
But the Nigerian government has insisted that there is no Monkeypox outbreak in the country.
It, however, noted that between 2017 and 2022, spanning five years, a total of 558 cases and eight deaths had been recorded.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in its recent update said it could not confirm the authenticity of the claim that the said traveller truly contracted the infection in Nigeria.
NCDC said: “On 7th May 2022, the NCDC was notified by the UK International Health Regulations (IHR) national focal point of a case of Monkeypox detected in a patient with recent travel history to Nigeria. The individual is a UK resident who arrived in Nigeria on 20th April 2022, travelled to Lagos and Delta States during the time spent in Nigeria, departed Lagos on 3rd May 2022 and arrived in the UK on 4th May 2022.
“While in Nigeria, the case did not report being in contact with anyone with symptoms of Monkeypox or other illness with rash. The diagnosis of Monkeypox (West African clade) was confirmed by PCR in the UK on 6th May 2022. The patient is currently stable and receiving care in the UK.”
The disease control centre, however, said it was investigating the incident in collaboration with the Lagos and Delta States’ ministries of health.
“In addition, the Monkeypox Technical Working Group comprising the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), US Centres for Disease Control (US CDC) and coordinated by the NCDC is collaborating to strengthen in-country capacity to prevent, detect and respond to monkeypox cases in the country,” NCDC added.
NCDC, however, confirmed that “since the re-emergence of Monkeypox in Nigeria in September 2017, the country has continued to record sporadic cases of the disease from states across the country.”
In 2022 alone, the disease centre said 15 cases have been confirmed but insisted that the figure “does NOT constitute an outbreak.”
It said the highest number of cases has been reported…
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