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Monkeypox in Nigeria

Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel
Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions
Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions

Key Points

  • An outbreak of monkeypox has been ongoing since September 2017 in Nigeria.
  • Monkeypox is spread through contact with an infected person or animal (alive or dead), or with material contaminated with the virus. It can also be spread through droplets when infected people cough, sneeze, or talk.
  • Travelers to Nigeria should protect themselves from monkeypox by washing hands often with soap and water, and avoiding contact with animals or people that may be sick.

What is the current situation?

As of September 2018, health officials in Nigeria have reported more than 100 confirmed cases of monkeypox, including multiple deaths. As of October 2018, three cases of monkeypox have been reported in travelers to the United Kingdom (2) and Israel (1), including one to GeoSentinel (a global travel surveillance network).

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs throughout remote parts of Central and West Africa, often near tropical rainforests. It is spread through contact with the monkeypox virus from an animal or human (alive or dead) or with materials contaminated with the virus. Symptoms begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion, and is followed by a rash. Patients are usually ill for 2-4 weeks. Monkeypox is fatal in as many as 10% of people who get it.

How can travelers protect themselves?

Because monkeypox is spread by contact with animals or humans that have monkeypox, travelers to Nigeria should take steps to prevent illness:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid contact with wild animals or wild animal products and meat that could harbor the virus (including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs).
  • Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that has been in contact with a sick person or animal.

If you feel sick and think you may have monkeypox:

  • Seek medical care right away.
    • Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, tell the doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

Traveler Information

Clinician Information

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