Nigeria Confirms 7 Monkeypox Virus Deaths

Level 2 Travel Alert issued by CDC for Nigeria regarding Monkeypox outbreak
nigerian monkey
Africa (Vax Before Travel)

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions, alert for people visiting Nigeria. 

The CDC issued this travel alert since the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has continued to respond to Monkeypox cases from states across the country. 

The NCDC said in a press release that between September 2017 when the outbreak started and September 2018, a total of 113 Monkeypox cases in 16 states, with 7 deaths, have been confirmed. 

This is important news since there is no cure for the disease, and about 10 percent of people who contract the Monkeypox virus die, says the CDC.

The highest number of Monkeypox cases have been reported from states in the South-South region of Nigeria, which is located on Africa’s west coast.   

As of October 2018, three cases of monkeypox have been reported in travelers to the United Kingdom (2)  and Israel (1).   

Previously, during the 2003 monkeypox outbreak in the USA, the CDC confirmed 37 cases.

Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs throughout remote parts of Central and West Africa, often near tropical rainforests. It is spread through contact with the monkeypox virus from an animal or human (alive or dead) or with materials contaminated with the virus, says the CDC. 

Symptoms begin with fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion, and is followed by a rash. Patients are usually ill for 2-4 weeks. 

Additionally, the US State Department issued a Level 3 Travel Alert during January 2018, suggesting Nigeria visitors enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 

The CDC’s travel notice for Nigeria includes the following normal immunizations, such as MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella, polio, and the annual flu shot. 

Moreover, the smallpox vaccine has been used prophylactically in Monkeypox outbreaks. 

Previous research suggests that the current smallpox vaccine, ACAM2000, is 85 percent effective in preventing monkeypox when given before exposure to monkeypox.

At this time, ACAM2000 has been stockpiled by the USA federal government for emergencies, and is strictly controlled for biodefense purposes and is not commercially available, according to the CDC. 

Local travel vaccination pharmacies in the USA offer pre-trip counseling sessions and can help prepare need items for the Traveler’s Checklist. 

Please visit Vax-Before-Travel to schedule an appointment.