Monkeypox spreads to 11 states — 74 suspected cases recorded 

Isaac Adewole, minister of health, says the monkeypox virus has spread to 11 states with 74 suspected cases recorded.

Addressing state house correspondents after the federal executive meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, Adewole dismissed the reports that the military has been spreading the virus through vaccination.

Monkeypox is a rare virus transmitted to humans from animals, with symptoms in humans similar to those seen in smallpox patients, although less severe.

On October 11, the federal government confirmed 33 suspected cases of the virus — first recorded in Bayelsa — in seven states.

The minister, who updated FEC on developments concerning the virus outbreak, listed the affected states as Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo.

Others are Lagos, Nasarawa and Rivers as well as the federal capital territory.

“We have confirmed three (suspected cases of the virus) from Bayelsa and 12 of the suspected cases from Bayelsa tested negative; four suspected cases from Lagos tested negative,” Adewole said.

“We are still expecting the results of the other ones.

“We are also doing tests at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, Ede, 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.

On the alleged spread of the virus by the military, he said the military was never involved in any vaccination in the country.

“And I must educate Nigerians about how vaccination campaigns are done,” he added.

“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 also said the health ministry was conducting vaccination in only three states of the federation, namely: Borno, Kwara and Kogi states.

Adewole said the cholera vaccination is being conducted in Borno state, while that of Yellow Fever is in Kwara and Kogi.

He said the ministry would soon start vaccination against measles while a nationwide vaccination against Yellow Fever would commence before the end of the year.