EVEN as the dreaded Monkey
Pox virus spreads across the
states occasioning panic, Dr.
Chikwe Ihekweazu, chief
executive officer/national
coordinator of the Nigeria
Centre for Disease Control
and Prevention, yesterday
said there was no vaccine
for the disease, adding that
Nigerians should disregard
any news to the contrary.
Ihekweazu, who spoke to
the Senate Committee on
Primary Health Care and
Communicable Diseases,
added that they were still
investigating the outbreak
of the diseases and yet
to confirm if it was really
Monkey Pox or not.
He explained that the
cases reported were isolated
within families and therefore
still containable, and that
they were working round
the clock to identify them but
until then there was still no
vaccine for it.
He said they were not
aware of any vaccination
and that people should not
be afraid as the outbreak
had not been weaponised
as is being rumoured in the
South-East.
According to him, Nigeria
doesn’t have the technology
to weaponise the diseases for
now.
The Senator Mao
Ohuabunwa-led committee
had invited Dr Ihekwazu to
throw light on the trending
news of outbreak of monkey
pox in seven states of the
federation after a motion was
moved to that effect during
Senate session.
Earlier in the week,
Minister of Health, Prof.
Isaac Adewole confirmed
that 33 suspected cases
of Monkey Pox had been
recorded in seven states of
the federation.
Adewole made this
known to State House
correspondents after the
meeting of the Federal
Executive Council
presided over by President
Muhammadu Buhari, in the
Presidential Villa, Abuja
Wednesday.
He disclosed that the
outbreak of the disease was
reported in Bayelsa, Rivers,
Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos,
Ogun and Cross River states.
However, he maintained
that the reported cases
did not fit into the classic
prototype of Monkey Pox,
saying that one of the
ministry’s Scientist, Prof.
Christian Appeh, is looking
into it to confirm whether
the disease is Monkey Pox or
not.
“What is particularly
significant is that many of the cases so reported do not
fit into the classic prototype of
monkey pox but we are trying
to confirm.
“Before the end of today or
early tomorrow we should be
able to confirm exactly what
we are dealing with, is it truly
monkeypox.
“But what is obvious is that
we have a disease that is close
to the pox family.
“One of our scientists, Prof.
Christian Appeh, is looking
into it in the laboratory
to confirm if it is truly
monkeypox; we are also
doing a double confirmation
in Senegal because Senegal
also has a public health lab
that could make diagnosis.
“We are looking at the two
and hopefully in the next 24
or 48 hours we should be able
to make a diagnosis as to what
we have,” he said.
According to the minister,
there are two types of Monkey
Pox – the Central African
type and the West African
type adding that the disease
if confirmed, might be the
West African type “which is
milder because so far we have
not recorded any death from
monkeypox.”

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