Monkey pox virus outbreak has spread to 11 states with 74 suspected cases recorded, Minister of Health Professor Isaac Adewole has said.
The minister made this known on Wednesday when briefing State House correspondent on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
The federal government, on October 11, confirmed that 33 suspected cases of the virus were recorded in seven states.
The states affected, he said, were Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, Nasarawa and Rivers as well as the FCT.
His words: “The Council also received an update on the state of the public health of the nation. We informed the council about the latest development in respect of the Monkey Pox virus outbreak. So far as of today, there are 74 cases in 11 states of the country.
“We have confirmed three from Bayelsa and 12 of the suspected cases from Bayelsa tested negative; four suspected cases from Lagos tested negative. We are still expecting the results of the other ones.
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“We are also doing test at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Edeh, to really understand the genomics of this virus.
“Even when they are negative, the laboratory attendant should be able to tell us what exactly they are,’’ he said.
He also spoke on the claims that the military was spreading Monkey Pox virus through vaccination.
“It is also important to dispel the rumour circulating in the country that the military is vaccinating people and trying to spread Monkey Pox across the country.
“The military is not involved in any vaccination exercise.
“And I must educate Nigerians about how vaccination campaigns are done. The Federal Government will take the lead but we do not conduct campaign without working with states.
“So, there is no way we will do campaign without working with the states,’’ he said.
According to him, his ministry was only carrying out vaccination in three states – Borno, Kwara and Kogi.
He said while cholera vaccination was going on in Borno that of Yellow Fever was ongoing in Kwara and Kogi.
He stated that the ministry would soon start vaccination against measles while a nationwide vaccination against Yellow Fever would commence before the end of the year.