Nigeria’s health minister says only three cases of Monkey Pox infection have been confirmed, all of them in Bayelsa State, South-south Nigeria. According to him there are a total of seventy one suspected cases in eleven states of the federation.
Monkeypox infection is a zoonotic (affects animal and man) viral disease that occurs primarily in remote villages of Central and West Africa in proximity to tropical rainforests where there is more frequent contact with infected animals. In Africa, monkeypox infection has been found in many animal species: rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian rats, striped mice, dormice and primates.
Human monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then known as Zaire) in a 9 year old boy in a region where smallpox had been eliminated in 1968. Since then, the majority of cases have been reported in rural, rainforest regions of the Congo Basin and western Africa, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is considered to be endemic. In 1996-97, a major outbreak occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 2005, a monkeypox outbreak occurred in Unity, Sudan and sporadic cases have been reported from other parts of Africa. In 2009, an outreach campaign among refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo into the Republic of Congo identified and confirmed two cases of monkeypox. Between August and October 2016, a monkeypox outbreak in the Central African Republic was contained with 26 cases and two deaths.
The disease is indigenous to Central and West Africa. An outbreak that occurred in the United States in 2003 was traced to a pet store where imported Gambian pouched rats were sold.
Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus.
Monkeypox is usually transmitted to humans from infected rodents, pets particularly dogs and primates (monkeys, squirrels, chimps etc) through contact with the animal’s blood, secretions or through a bite.
Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is another possible way of the spread of the disease to human.
Secondary, or human-to-human, transmission can result from close contact with infected respiratory tract secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or objects recently contaminated by patient fluids or lesion materials. Transmission occurs primarily via droplet respiratory particles usually requiring prolonged face-to-face contact, which puts household members of active cases at greater risk of infection. Transmission can also occur by inoculation or via the placenta (congenital monkeypox).
There is no evidence, to date, that person-to-person transmission alone can sustain monkeypox infections in the human population, that means human to human spread is quite low..
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