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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Monkeypox in Nigeria

06 Nov 2017

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control Link reports that the outbreak of monkeypox continues, with 116 cases reported from 21 states by 2 November 2017. Of these cases, a total of 38 has been confirmed have been reported from Akwa Ibom, Bayel sa, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Lagos, Rivers and FCT states.

No deaths have been reported.

Advice to Travellers

Monkeypox is a rare infection related to smallpox. It resembles the less severe variola minor form of smallpox and has the potential to be fatal in a minority of cases. 
Monkeypox is unusual in travellers and tends to occur in isolated rural or forest areas.

Nearly all cases have occurred in Central or West Africa, with only a few cases ever reported outside Africa. Most infections result from direct contact with the blood, body fluids, or cutaneous/ mucosal lesions of infected animals including monkeys, giant rats, squirrels and rabbits. Rodents are the major source of infection. Eating undercooked meat of infected animals is a possible risk factor.

There is no specific vaccine or treatment for monkeypox and prevention is by avoiding contact with infected animals and people. Smallpox vaccine may offer some protection but is generally offered to those at high risk eg laboratory staff or healthcare workers in an outbreak situation.