…How to avoid the disease, by UUTH CMD
From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Monkey pox has been recorded in Akwa Ibom State, after 13 people contracted the disease in Bayelsa.
Another 49 were on the watch list, as at last week.
Commissioner for Information, Charles Udoh, confirmed the single case in a statement in Uyo, the state capital, yesterday.
Udoh also said the state government is investigating two more cases suspected to be monkeypox.
“Monkeypox currently has no treatment and no vaccine. It looks like smallpox but, the rashes are larger while the disease is milder.
“The era of avoiding excessive handshake, regular hand-washing and abstinence from bush meat is here, again.
“We will provide more information subsequently,” the commissioner said.
A medical doctor was among those quarantined, last week.
Three suspected cases were later reported in Rivers State.
Samples from suspected victims in Bayelsa and Rivers have been sent to the World Health Organisation (WHO) laboratory in Dakar, Senegal for confirmation.
At the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Prof Etete Peters, did not confirm whether a patient with monkey pox was admitted there or not.
He only told Daily Sun the medical facility is equipped to handle any such disease.
Peters disclosed that monkey pox is caused by a virus previously isolated in animals like monkeys, rats and squirrels, and that the disease is not new as it has been known to medicine for decades, although relatively rare.
He also explained that human to human transmission only occurs through droplet infection, with direct contact with body fluids or lesions or materials that are in direct contact with sufferer.
After the first report of the suspected cases in Bayelsa, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole and Executive Director of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, called for calm and informed Nigerians that the Federal Government is taking the required steps to manage the disease and to prevent further spread.
The virus is present in the blood, body fluids and secretions of infected rodents. Close contact with these mammals when infected can increase the chances of a human outbreak’’ he stated.
Meanwhile, Cross River State Government has denied that there is a confirmed case of monkey pox in Okuni local government area of the state.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, told newsmen rumours making the rounds on a case of monkey pox in the state is totally fallacy.
“We call on the general public, especially those living in the area, to be careful and avoid of close contact with each other as the incubation period of monkey pox disease is usually from six to 16 days, but can range from five to 21 days.
“Along with the activation of the Disease Surveillance and Response team across the state, the state Epidemiology Team has also collected samples from a suspect and sent to Abuja for proper investigation whilst they continue contact tracing and isolation of the suspect.