Thursday, July 7, 2022

Children at risk of severe monkeypox cases – warns NCDC

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has warned Nigerians that severe cases of monkeypox, currently being experienced in some countries, including Nigeria, are common in children.

The disease, which according to the World Health Organisation is endemic to West and Central African countries, has started to surface in European countries.

While NCDC noted that only 46 suspected cases had been reported with 15 confirmed so far, countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Portugal, Spain and Canada, among others reported cases of the disease.

The centre assured Nigerians of its capacity to effectively diagnose and respond to cases, while it also warned that severe cases commonly occur in children.

The NCDC, in a message posted on its Facebook page, stated, “Monkeypox is usually self-limiting, with the symptoms lasting between two and three weeks.

“This means that most patients will recover with proper care. Severe cases are common among children.

“Symptoms include fever, body pain, weaknesses, sore throat and rashes on face, palms, soles of feet and other parts of the body.

“Early reporting saves lives.”

Sources had reported that the NCDC said it has enough capacity to diagnose and respond to cases of Monkey pox across the country.

The centre had said, “We urge anyone who has fluid-filled body rashes (vesicular rash), enlargement of glands and other symptoms of monkey pox stated below, to report to any nearby public health facility for proper diagnosis and care.

“Any health care worker that suspects a case of monkey pox should reach out to their Local Government Area Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers or the state Ministry of Health (Epidemiology team) for appropriate guidance and action.”

Speaking in an interview with our correspondent, a Professor of Public Health at the University of Ilorin and former National Chairman of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, Prof Tanimola Akande, noted the need for surveillance.

He regretted that there is currently no vaccine that can be deployed at the moment.

Akande said, “The most important thing to do is what we call surveillance, that is to say that we look out for active cases so that once you get someone who is infected, you get them isolated from others so that they don’t infect other people.

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