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Africa reported 1,200 mpox cases, Nigeria leads –WHO

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The World Health Organisation has said  Nigeria is leading the pack of African countries with mpox infections and deaths.

The WHO disclosed this in its multi-country outbreak of mpox situation report released on Friday.

Mpox is a zoonosis, a disease that is transmitted from animals to humans, with cases often found close to tropical rainforest where there are animals that carry the virus.

Evidence of mpox virus infection has been found in animals including squirrels, Gambian pouched rats, dormice, different species of monkey, and others.

The WHO had on November 28, 2022, renamed monkeypox as mpox to reduce the stigma around the virus.

The WHO epidemiological update showed that from January 1, 2022, to January 1, 2023, a  total of 83,943 laboratory-confirmed cases of mpox and 75 deaths have been reported to WHO from 110 countries in all six WHO regions.

In the region of the Americas, the confirmed cases are 56,694 with 53 deaths; the European region recorded 25,705 cases with five deaths; the African region recorded 1,200 cases and 15 deaths; the Western Pacific region has 229 cases with no death; the Eastern Mediterranean region recorded 80 cases and one death; and the South-East Asia region has 35 confirmed cases and one death.

A breakdown of the confirmed cases in the African region revealed that Nigeria is topping the list of countries with mpox infections with 756; followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo with 277; Ghana with 116; Cameroon with 18.

Others are the Central African Republic with 13; Liberia with six; Congo and South Africa recorded five cases each; Benin recorded three cases; and Mozambique recorded one case.

The report also showed that only Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and Mozambique reported seven, four, three, and one deaths respectively.

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