Monkeypox: NCDC allays fear of fresh cases in Nigeria after United Kingdom discovery

"We re-assure Nigerians that NCDC has the capacity to effectively diagnose and respond to cases of Monkeypox".

The patient, who had travelled to Nigeria, arrived at Blackpool Victoria Hospital with symptoms of the disease, Public Health England (PHE) said.

"When tests confirmed it was the Monkeypox virus the patient was transferred to Liverpool as per our standard guidelines".

The infection has been reported twice in the United Kingdom in the space of a week: once in Cornwall, presenting in a Nigerian national staying at a naval base, and then in Blackpool, in someone who had recently travelled to Nigeria.

Health officials said that although infection is usually mild, and the disease doesn't spread easily, severe cases can be fatal.

However, Public Health England have stressed that the cases are unrelated.

The latest patient became ill in Blackpool after a visit to Nigeria and was transferred to a specialist unit at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

"All necessary precautions have been taken by specialist staff and there is now no risk to other staff, patients or visitors".

Dr Nick Phin, the deputy director of PHE's national infection service, said monkeypox was probably still circulating in Nigeria after an outbreak there a year ago.

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The disease requires two people to be in close contact in order to be passed between them. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised against any restriction on travel in the area at the time as it said there was a "low risk" that global travellers would come into contact with the infection.

"Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 14 to 21 days".

The unit has "highly trained staff who are experienced in dealing with a variety of infectious diseases", he added.

Agenyi said that Monkeypox patients must adhere strictly to universal precaution, especially frequent handwashing and other personal protective equipment.

People infected with monkeypox can spread the disease to others, mostly through "large respiratory droplets" that are expelled when a person coughs, sneezes or talks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Symptoms of the infectious disease begin with fatigue, fever, headache, muscle pains and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash that forms blisters and crusts over.

Although monkeypox and smallpox have similar symptoms, monkeypox is less deadly than smallpox: In previous outbreaks, the fatality rate for monkeypox has been between 1 percent and 10 percent, World Health Organization said.

Humans can catch monkeypox through direct contact with animals, such as handling monkeys, or eating inadequately cooked meat. Most people recover within several weeks.

Nigeria is experiencing a particularly virulent outbreak with 89 people infected and six deaths since 2017.

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