A total of 34 monkeypox cases were recorded in Nigeria last year, according to figures compiled by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Monkeypox is a viral illness caused by a group of viruses that include chicken pox and small pox, with symptoms like severe headache, fever, back pains, among others.
A total of 98 suspected cases were reported between January 1 and December 31, 2021, but only 34.7% were confirmed positive.
Delta State recorded the highest number of cases with nine, followed by Lagos, Bayelsa, and Rivers with six each.
Edo State recorded three positive cases, and Niger, Ogun, Cross River, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) recorded one each.
No deaths were recorded throughout the year, according to the December situational report published by the NCDC.
At least two cases of monkeypox confirmed in the United States last year were identified as recent travellers from Nigeria where they were believed to have been infected.
The NCDC said weak surveillance, underutilisation of health facilities by patients, and low sample collection rate by reporting states were its biggest challenges.
A 2017 monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria spread to at least 14 states and sparked nationwide panic.
Last year’s total was was more than four times higher than the eight total cases reported nationwide in 2020.
Of the 512 suspected cases reported since the 2017 outbreak, 226 (44.1%) have been confirmed in 19 states and the FCT, with eight deaths in four years.
Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus that can occur in certain animals and humans. Symptoms begin with fever, headache, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes, and feeling tired. This is followed by a rash that forms blisters and crusts over.