More monkeypox cases expected as WHO says no evidence virus has mutated | The Guardian Nigeria News

• Health body moves to curb high non-communicable diseases burden in Nigeria

World Health Organisation (WHO), yesterday, said the current outbreak of Monkeypox is evolving, even as it expects more cases to be identified as surveillance expands in non-endemic countries.

It, however, said it does not have evidence that the virus has mutated.

A senior executive at the United Nations agency said the infectious disease that is endemic in West and Central Africa has tended not to change.

Head of the smallpox secretariat, which is part of the WHO Emergencies Programme, Rosamund Lewis, told a briefing that mutations are typically lower with this virus, although genome sequencing of cases will help inform understanding of the current outbreak.

WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonoses lead and technical lead on COVID-19, Maria van Kerkhove, said more than 100 suspected and confirmed cases in the recent outbreak in Europe and North America have not been severe. “This is a containable situation,” she said.

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WHO, in a statement, titled, ‘Multi-country monkeypox outbreak in non-endemic countries’, said reported cases thus far have no established travel links to Nigeria and other endemic areas.

THIS came as the global health body warned of increasing burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), urging Nigerians to engage in physical exercises to reduce the chances of contracting them.

NCDs kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71 per cent of all deaths globally.

Speaking in Abuja, yesterday, during the third edition of ‘Walk The Talk: Health for All Challenge’, organised by WHO, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and partners, Country Representative, Dr. Walter Mulombo, noted that the burden of NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and chronic diseases are on the increase globally.

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MEANWHILE, Federal Government has taken steps to address the monkeypox outbreak and other diseases transferable from animals to humans, with the distribution of laboratory diagnostic and vaccination equipment, cold chain facilities and sample collection items to states of the federation.

Addressing key stakeholders in the livestock sub-sector during the distribution ceremony in Abuja, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, said animal health management is a critical component of the national plan for transformation of the livestock sub-sector in the country.

The minister expressed hope that the gesture would go a long way to support states and veterinary teaching hospitals in providing quality animal health care services, prevention and control, as well as timely diagnosis of diseases especially the trans-boundary animal and zoonotic types.

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