US confirms case of monkeypox in Nigerian traveller

Amarachi Okeh

The United States Centre for Disease Control and the Texas Department of Health Services on Friday said it had confirmed a case of monkeypox in a Nigerian traveller.

According to a press statement from the CDC, the traveller, a US resident, recently travelled from Nigeria to Dallas on Delta Airlines in early July.

The CDC said a laboratory testing showed the patient is infected with a strain of monkeypox most commonly seen in parts of West Africa, including Nigeria.

The statement partly reads, “The person is currently hospitalised in Dallas. 

“CDC is working with the airline and state and local health officials to contact airline passengers and others who may have been in contact with the patient during two flights: Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta on July 8, with arrival on July 9; and Atlanta to Dallas on July 9.

“Travelers on these flights were required to wear masks as well as in the U.S. airports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Therefore, it’s believed the risk of spread of monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports is low. 

“Working with airline and state and local health partners, CDC is assessing potential risks to those who may have had close contact with the traveler on the plane and specific settings,” the statement said.

The CDC said that monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body. 

Most infections last 2-4 weeks.

The last outbreak of monkeypox in the US was in 2003 affecting 37 people. 

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