The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has registered 59 suspected cases of monkeypox with 15 cases confirmed in the country.
Director-General of the agency, Chikwe Ihekweazu, announced this on Tuesday in Abuja.
The news comes following reports of that a resident of Dallas in the United States who recently returned from Nigeria tested positive to the disease.
According to reports, laboratory tests confirmed that the patient was infected with a strain of the virus mainly seen in West Africa, which included Nigeria.
“We have been working closely with state health ministries to strengthen monkeypox disease surveillance and response in the country.
“We work with Enhanced Monkeypox Surveillance Project where we have been training health workers across states to rapidly detect and manage cases,” Ihekweazu said.
The NCDC boss added that just as the agency responded to other epidemic-prone diseases in the country, an outbreak would be declared when there was a large cluster of monkeypox cases that constituted an emergency.
Monkeypox, which is in the same family of viruses as smallpox, is a rare but potentially deadly viral infection that begins with flu-like symptoms and progresses to a rash on the face and body.
It tends to last two to four weeks. People who do not have symptoms are not capable of transmitting the virus