Nigeria has confirmed an outbreak of monkeypox in the oil-rich southern state of Bayelsa, where 12 cases have been confirmed and at least 32 persons quarantined to halt the spread of the disease.
The disease was first reported late September in an 11-year-old boy, while 11 other cases have been confirmed after examination of more samples, the country’s center for disease control said in a statement.
“All the cases are currently receiving appropriate medical care. All the patients are improving clinically and there have been no deaths,” the statement said.
The center said monkeypox infection is a relatively rare disease that had previously been reported in Nigeria in the 1970s, and is transmitted from animals to humans. It listed the animal hosts of the virus to be squirrels, rats and monkeys.
“The monkeypox virus can cause an illness with the following symptoms; a generalized vesicular skin rash, fever, and painful jaw swelling,” the disease control body said, urging people to maintain personal hygiene and avoid contacts with infected persons.
“Although there is no specific medicine to treat the disease, when intensive supportive care is provided most patients recover fully,” the center added.