Wetin bi Monkeypox?

  • Ogun State Nigeria Confirms 4 cases

The Ogun State Government has confirmed four new cases of Monkey Pox, bringing the total of cases recorded in the state to seven.

This was disclosed in a press statement by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker in Abeokuta.

According to the release, signed by Femi Onasanya, in the Ogun State’s Ministry of Health, two cases of monkeypox were discovered in Ota, within Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area while Abeokuta North and Abeokuta South had one case each.

The statement revealed that the Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers ( DSNOs) in the affected local government areas have carried-out line-listing and contact tracing, pointing out that the patients are already on prescribed medications.

It further advised residents to avoid direct contact with body fluid or sore of an infected live or dead animals, persons or contaminated items, just as it emphasised regular hand washing with soap and water especially after visiting or caring for a sick person.

While adding that animal food products should be properly cooked before eating, the government called for calm from residents, assuring that necessary measures are being put in place to curb the spread of the disease.

So, What’s Monkeypox

Are you experiencing uncomfortable rash, painful itching, fever, swollen lymph nodes, intense headache, back pain, muscle aches and lack of energy that have refused to go even after some medications?  You may need to go to the hospital for further investigation to be sure you are not suffering from monkeypox disease.

Monkeypox is a viral disease transmitted to humans from animals with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, but clinically less severe. Monkeypox discovered 1958 in a monkey infected the first human, a small child in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970. Since that time, according to World Health Organization, increasing numbers of cases have been recognized particular, over the last 5 to 10 years. Monkeypox primarily occurs in central and west Africa, often in proximity to tropical rainforests.

An interesting thing about monkeypox disease is that the seniors, particularly from age 40 and above appear to be less vulnerable to the monkeypox virus while below can be more susceptible. This, according to the experts, is because the past vaccination against smallpox ( Number- that scar on the upper arm), that was stopped in the 1980s, after global eradication of smallpox, also protects against monkeypox virus.

The Spread

According to WHO reports, the spread of monkeypox is from Africa to the rest of the world. Since 1970, human cases of monkeypox have been reported in 11 African countries: Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and South Sudan. In 1996–97, an outbreak was reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 2017, Nigeria has experienced a large outbreak, with over 500 suspected cases and over 200 confirmed cases and a case fatality ratio of approximately 3%.

Monkeypox has become a disease of global public health importance as it not only affects countries in west and central Africa, but the rest of the world. In 2003, according to WHO, the first monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa was in the United States of America and was linked to contact with infected pet dogs from Ghana. This outbreak led to over 70 cases of monkeypox in the U.S. Monkeypox has also been reported in travellers from Nigeria to Israel in September 2018, to the United Kingdom in September 2018, December 2019, May 2021 and May 2022, to Singapore in May 2019, and to the United States of America in July and November 2021. In May 2022, multiple cases of monkeypox were identified in several non-endemic countries.

Monkeypox transmission

Experts say the virus is zoonotic that is animal to human. Contacts with the blood, bodily fluids, or mucosal lesions of infected animals. WHO says evidence of monkeypox virus infection has been found in many animals including rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian pouched rats, dormice, different species of monkeys and others. Eating of inadequately cooked meat and other animal products of infected animals is a possible risk factor. People living in or near forested areas may have indirect or low-level exposure to infected animals thus putting them at risk of infection.

There is also Human-to-human transmission that can result from close contact with respiratory secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or recently contaminated objects. Transmission via droplet respiratory particles usually requires prolonged face-to-face contact, and this usually puts health workers, household members and other close contacts of active cases at greater risk. Transmission can also occur via the placenta from mother to fetus (which can lead to congenital monkeypox) or during close contact during and after birth. Though there is dearth of studies linking transmission through sex, but experts say men who have sex with men and their family members may also be at high risk.

Credit: Nigeria Center for Disease Control

 Signs and symptoms

Fever, intense headache, lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph nodes), back pain, myalgia (muscle aches) and intense asthenia (lack of energy). Lymphadenopathy, according to medical journal and experts, is a distinctive feature of monkeypox compared to other related diseases like chickenpox, measles, smallpox.

There is also the skin eruption that usually begins within 1–3 days of appearance of fever. The monkeypox rash tends to be more concentrated on the face and extremities rather than on the trunk. It affects the face (in 95% of cases), and palms of the hands and soles of the feet (in 75% of cases).

Also affected are oral mucous membranes, genitalia, and conjunctivae, as well as the cornea. The rash evolves sequentially from lesions with a flat base to slightly raised firm lesions,  lesions filled with clear fluid, lesions filled with yellowish fluid, and crusts which dry up and fall off. The number of lesions varies from a few to several thousand. In severe cases, lesions can coalesce until large sections of skin slough off.

WHO says monkeypox is a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Severe cases occur more commonly among children and are related to the extent of virus exposure, patient health status and nature of complications. Underlying immune deficiencies may lead to worse outcomes.  Complications of monkeypox can include secondary infections, bronchopneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis, and infection of the cornea with ensuing loss of vision.


Prevention, they say is better than cure. Particularly now that the vaccine against the monkey virus is rare and limited. The preventive measures against the virus are simple common sense measures, that is:

Avoid not well-cooked meat

Regular hand washing

Health workers must implement standard precautionary control mechanism

Avoid unprotected contact with wild animals, especially those that are sick or dead, including their meat, blood and other parts.

Continuous raising of awareness of risk factors and educating people about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus.

Monkeypox Key facts by WHO

  • Vaccines used during the smallpox eradication programme also provided protection against monkeypox. Newer vaccines have been developed of which one has been approved for prevention of monkeypox
  • Monkeypox is caused by monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.
  • Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Severe cases can occur. In recent times, the case fatality ratio has been around 3–6%.
  • Monkeypox is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.
  • Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
  • Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.
  • An antiviral agent developed for the treatment of smallpox has also been licensed for the treatment of monkeypox.
  • The clinical presentation of monkeypox resembles that of smallpox, a related orthopoxvirus infection which was declared eradicated worldwide in 1980. Monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe illness.
  • Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications.


Source: Dare Agbeluyi, Chief Publisher.

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