By Abdullahi M. Gulloma Abuja
There is no confi rmed case of monkey pox in the country yet, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said.
The minister disclosed this yesterday at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.
He said the Centre for Disease Control had taken samples for analysis in laboratories in some parts of the country and in Senegal, saying the results were not yet out.
“FEC received the usual report on public health situation in the country and that report dealt with our current tracking of several outbreaks in the country, we presented the status report on Lassa fever, and we reported that no new confi rmed case of Lassa fever has been reported in the country, we also reported the declining case of cholera in Borno state and we are quite happy that no death has been reported from Borno state.
“There is also an on-going outbreak of yellow fever which started in Kwara.
So far, we have recorded four cases in Kwara, two in Kogi, two in Plateau one in Abia and one in Edo, making 10 cases in all.
What we have decided to do is to start our reactive campaign in Kwara and Kogi starting from Friday, 13th of this month.
“We have also decided to start a nationwide vaccination against yellow fever; we are going to bring that forward to December because of what is currently ongoing.
We quite recognise the fact that we have a large number of Nigerians who are un-immune to yellow fever and so we want to do a nationwide vaccination against yellow fever, ” Adewole explained.
Continuing, he said, “the other one which is less topical but less deadly is monkey pox, and this actually started in Bayelsa and we have recorded 33 suspected cases in all from the states, Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom,Lagos, Ogun and Cross River.
“And what is particularly signifi cant is that many of the cases so reported do not fi t into the classic prototype of monkey pox.
But we are trying to confi rm before the end of today or early tomorrow, we should be able to confi rm exactly what we are dealing with.
Is it truly monkey pox? But what is obvious is that we have a disease that is close to the pox family.
” The minister said a scientist, Prof. Christian Appeh, “is looking into it in the laboratory to confi rm if truly it’s monkey pox that the country is dealing with.
” According to him, government is also doing a double confi rmation in Senegal because the country has a public health laboratory that could diagnosis the samples.
“There are two types of monkey pox, there is the Central African type and the West African type, we suspect that if confi rmed, we probably have the West African type which is milder because so far we have not recorded any death from monkey pox.