The monkeypox virus may have spread to 11 states with 74 suspected cases recorded, Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole has said.
He made the disclosure in Abuja on Wednesday when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC.
President Muhammadu Buhari chaired the meeting held at the State House Council Chamber, Abuja.
The Federal Government on October 11 confirmed that 33 suspected cases of the virus were recorded in seven states.
However, after samples of the suspected cases were sent for test at a WHO laboratory in Senegal, only three cases from Bayelsa tested positive.
The minister, who updated the Council on developments in respect of the outbreak, listed the affected States as Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, Nasarawa and Rivers as well as the FCT.
“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 monkeypox virus outbreak. So far as of today, there are 74 suspected 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.
“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.
The minister dismissed the rumour that the military was spreading Monkeypox virus through vaccination.
He said that the military was never involved in any vaccination in the country, adding that any vaccination must involve state governments and the Federal Ministry of Health.
“It is also important to dispel the rumour circulating in the country that the military is vaccinating people and trying to spread monkeypox across the country.
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“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.
The minister announced that his ministry was conducting vaccination in only three states of the federation, namely Borno, Kwara and Kogi.