Monkeypox fatality higher among young people – Physician


A professor of public health, Tanimola Akande said, the fatality rate of monkeypox is usually higher among the younger population particularly children.

According to Akande, the disease should be prevented by avoiding contact with animals, especially those that are sick or dead. The case fatality ratio of monkeypox varies between 0 and 11 per cent in the general population.

Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis, a virus transmitted to humans from animals with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the Federal Government was notified of the situation in Texas, through the International Health Regulations, who reported a case of monkeypox disease diagnosed in a patient who had recently visited Nigeria.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control had registered 59 suspected cases of Monkeypox with 15 confirmed.

“We have been working closely with state health ministries to strengthen monkeypox disease surveillance and response in the country.

“We work with Enhanced Monkeypox Surveillance Project where we have been training health workers across states to rapidly detect and manage cases.

“Our initial focus is on the states with the highest number of cases – Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Lagos.

“We will continue working with all states to strengthen monkeypox prevention, detection and control in Nigeria,” Ihekweazu explained.

The viral zoonotic disease can also be transmitted from man to man.

The symptoms of monkeypox are fever, intense headache, rash, muscle pain, lymph node enlargement, and skin manifestations in form of rashes on the face and extremities.

Monkeypox can be prevented by avoiding contact with animals like rats and monkeys. Unprotected contact with wild animals, especially those sick or dead, including their meat, blood, and other parts must be avoided.

Akande added that the focus on COVID-19 cannot be said to be too much because of the pandemic nature and socio-economic and health consequences.

“Nevertheless, other diseases need to be addressed as well. A lot of strategies and resources in the control of COVID-19 are also useful in the control of some other epidemic-prone diseases.

“There is a need for synergy in the control efforts to ensure other diseases are not neglected. COVID-19 has attracted significant funding, the same mechanism can be used to mobilise resources to generally improve the health system in Nigeria,” he said.

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