Published on Oct 11, 2017 Greenbarge Reporters
Health minister, Professor Isaac Folosunso Adewale has confirmed the outbreak of yellow fever in some states in Nigeria even as he announced the immediate commencement of immunisation in the affected states to contain the spread.
The minister, who briefed news men today shortly after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said: “there is also an ongoing outbreak of yellow fever which started in Kwara (state). So far, we have recorded four cases in Kwara, two in Kogi, two in Plateau, one in Abia and one in Edo states, making 10 cases in all.”
The minister said that the federal government had decided to start reactive campaign in Kwara and Kogi state, beginning 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.”
On the new outbreak of what he called ‘less topical but less deadly’ monkey pox which started in Bayelsa State, the minister said that so far, 33 suspected cases have been recorded from Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom,Lagos, Ogun and Cross River States.
He said that many of the cases so reported do not fit into the classic prototype of monkey pox.
“Before the end of today or early tomorrow, we should be able to confirm 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.
“One of our scientist Professors, Christian Appeh is looking into it in the laboratory to confirm if it is truly monkeypox. We are also doing a double confirmation in Senegal because Senegal also has a public health lab that could make diagnosis. We are looking at the two and hopefully in the next 24 or 48 hours, we should be able to make a diagnosis as to what we have.
Professor Adewale called on Nigerians not to panic but that they should report all suspected cases to health facilities and to continue to maintain a high level of hygiene.
“Let us wash our hands, avoid contact with dead animals, clean our surroundings and as much as possible, health workers should maintain barrier nursing while managing people with suspected cases of monkey pox.”
The minister said that there are two types of monkey pox: “there is the central African type and the west African type. We suspect that if confirmed, we probably have the West African type which is milder because so far we have not recorded any death from monkey pox.”
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