The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has issued out a warning to Nigerians that severe cases of monkeypox, currently being experienced in many countries of the world , are common in children.
Recall that The World Health Organisation (WHO) has linked the disease to an endemic ravaging West and Central African countries.
TheNewsGuru.com reports that the endemic has been diagnosed in few children in the country in the past few days.
A new development shows that the disease has started manifesting in children living in Europe.
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 said,“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 the face, palms, soles of feet and other parts of the body. Early reporting save lives.
“We urge anyone who has fluid filled body rashes (vesicular rash), enlargement of glands and other symptoms of monkeypox, to report to any nearby public health facility for proper diagnosis and care.
“Any health care worker that suspects a case of monkeypox 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.”
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 said that a survey should be carried out to diagnose those with the disease so they can be isolated to avoid infecting others.
The Professor stated that the world is yet to develop a vaccine that can prevent the spread.
“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.
“This disease can easily spread by contact. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine that can be deployed at the moment.”
Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus that can occur in certain animals, including humans. Symptoms begin with fever, headache, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes, and feeling tired.
This is followed by a rash that forms blisters and crusts over.
The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is around 10 days, the duration of symptoms is typically two to four weeks.
Monkeypox may be spread from handling bushmeat, an animal bite or scratch, body fluids, contaminated objects, or close contact with an infected person.
The virus normally circulates among certain rodents, diagnosis can be confirmed by testing a lesion for the virus’s DNA.
The disease can appear similar to chickenpox and other related diseases.