The United States has pushed back against rumors that the global monkeypox outbreak has its origins in, and spread because of, “U.S.-controlled laboratories” in Nigeria.
The claims, shared on social media with calls for a World Health Organization inquiry, are false, the U.S. embassy in Nigeria said in a response this week.
“Such reports are pure fabrication,” the statement said. “There is zero merit to any allegations regarding the use of U.S.-assisted Nigerian laboratories in the spread of monkeypox. Furthermore, there are no ‘U.S.-controlled’ laboratories in Nigeria.”
The U.S. does work in collaboration with Nigerian laboratories and public health professionals, with an emphasis on disease diagnosis and prevention.
The work contributes greatly to the management of global disease outbreaks, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Program as partners.
“Monkeypox is not a new disease, nor is it unique to Nigeria or this region, having first been diagnosed in 1970 in the DRC,” the U.S. statement said. “As we work together to contain its spread, exported cases have been reported in the United Kingdom, United States, and other parts of the world.”
The U.S. said it plans to continue work with Nigerians on monkeypox as well as COVID-19, malaria, HIV, and other diseases affecting Africans and the global community.
Image: ACEGID file