A patient in Cornwall last week was diagnosed of deadly monkey-pox and just days later, a second case was detected at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Both patients are however said to be receiving appropriate care at Royal Infectious University, an expert respiratory infectious disease Centre.
The twist however, is that the patient must have gotten it while in Nigeria, as he was visiting from Nigeria. According to Public Health England (PHE) this is the first ever diagnosis of the viral infection in the UK.
Responding to the development, The Nigerian government says it is cooperating with authorities in the United Kingdom (UK) to investigate outbreak of monkeypox, after the two cases were discovered in the UK from patients with recent travel history from Nigeria.
In a statement by its Chief Executive Officer, Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said it is working with the UK’s public health agency; Public Health England (PHE), and other partners in Nigeria in the investigation.
Mr Ihekweazu, however, said the NCDC has been working closely with states across the country to strengthen surveillance, detection and response to cases of Monkeypox. He noted that a Technical Working Group coordinated by NCDC and comprising partners from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations International Children Emergency fund (UNICEF), US Centers for Disease Control (US CDC) and other agencies, meet weekly to ensure coordination. He re-assured Nigerians of the agency’s capacity to effectively diagnose and respond to cases of Monkeypox.
In a related development, a report released by PHE said both patients are believed to have contracted the disease in Nigeria before travelling to England, and were diagnosed days apart.
In September 2017, Nigeria experienced a large sustained outbreak of monkeypox, little wonder The deputy director of the National Infection Service at PHE, Nick Phin, feels that the case has continued to spread sporadically. “It is likely that monkeypox continues to circulate in Nigeria and could, therefore, affect travelers who are returning from this part of the world”.
Phin further stated that measures are on top gear to contact individuals, including healthcare workers, that might have come into contact with the individual to provide information and health advice.
Meanwhile, Monkeypox is a virus that is spread primarily from animals to humans, with symptoms such as fever, headache, body pain, malaise, lymphadenopathy (enlargement of glands), sore throat and the typical generalized vesicular rash.