The Health Ministry in Nigeria says 6 more cases of Monkey Pox disease have been confirmed after laboratory tests.

The latest report brings the number of confirmed cases to 9.

Latest information on Monkey Pox disease was given by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire on Friday.

Dr. Ehanire said 2 cases each were recorded in Bayelsa and the Akwa Ibom States, one in Enugu State and one in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Minister also said that investigations has started to determine if any of the new cases had a link with the Bayelsa cluster, where the outbreak was first recorded.

Ehanire advised Nigerians to be calm, stressing that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is working with all affected States to ensure adequate management of the situation.

He noted that as frightening as the manifestation of the ailment may seem, no fatality has been recorded.

“As at the 25th of October 2017, a total of 94 suspected cases have been reported from 11 States (Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Rivers) and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)”, the Minister said.

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Ehanire said the newly confirmed cases were patients already being managed by public health authorities and have been receiving appropriate clinical care since the onset of the illness.

“The Federal Ministry of Health, through the NCDC, is in close contact with all State Epidemiology Teams, as well as the health facilities providing clinical care to both suspected and confirmed cases.

“State Commissioners of Health have been advised to place all health care facilities and Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers on alert, to ensure early case detection, reporting, and effective treatment.

“A National-level Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the NCDC with support from our development partners, is coordinating outbreak investigation and response across affected States. The EOC includes the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as experts from partner agencies.

“The EOC provides daily support to State Ministries of Health in active case finding, epidemiological investigation, contact tracing, case management, psychosocial support and risk communication.

“The NCDC has also deployed Rapid Response Teams to the four States with confirmed cases. Measures have been put in place to ensure proper investigation of all reported cases, effective sample collection, and testing, as well as case management of all suspected and confirmed cases.

“Risk communication activities have been heightened to advise the public as well as healthcare workers on preventive measures.

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A nationwide communications campaign has begun, to inform Nigerians of key preventive measures to take to curtail the further spread of Monkey Pox.

“The NCDC has been working with pox virus experts from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that every available step is taken to trace how this outbreak may be spreading, and in understanding the links between case cluster, in order to prevent further spread”, Ehanire said.

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