From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
The Ebonyi state government has announced the discovery of a suspected case of the monkeypox virus in the state.
Commissioner for Health Daniel Umezuruike disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
He said the case involved a 32-year-old male farmer from Ugwulangwu in Ohaozara local government area of the state.
He explained that since the onset of the outbreak, the state has recorded a total of 32 suspected cases with only 1 confirmed case.
“Following the Notification of a suspected case of Monkeypox on the 10th of August, 2022 at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki.
“A 32-year-old male farmer who hails from Ugwulangwu in Ohaozara LGA but resides in Abakaliki said to have travelled to Rivers State returned to Ebonyi on 7th of July 2022 presented with a history of fever, maculopapular rash, sore throat, headache and generalized weakness of the body.
“A presumptive diagnosis of Monkeypox was made to rule out Smallpox. A sample was collected and sent to the NCDC National Reference Laboratory and the result came out positive for Monkeypox Virus. The patient was admitted to the Ebonyi State isolation centre and is currently been managed for monkeypox and he is responding to treatment. 7 contacts have been identified and lines listed which are currently been followed up. Active case search has been heightened across all the LGAs in the State to strengthen case findings.
“Since the onset of this outbreak, Ebonyi has recorded a total of 32 suspected cases with only 1 confirmed case. The case fatality rate is still 0 (as there has been no record of any death both in suspected and confirmed cases) in the state. EOC has been activated to coordinate the outbreak investigation and response across the 13LGAs in the State and is currently supporting response activities to contain the monkeypox outbreak via active case search, epidemiological investigation, contact line listing and monitoring of all exposed contacts.
“Public Health measures have been put in place to ensure effective sample collection and testing to enable laboratory confirmation. Risk communication activities have been heightened to advise the public on preventive measures. In light of the above, it is important to be reminded that monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease with symptoms in humans similar to those seen in smallpox patients, but much less severe and with a low case fatality rate. It has an incubation period of 5 to 21 days.
“However, supportive care and management of the condition are required and mostly successful. Ebonyians are advised to remain calm and go about their normal business. Avoid self-medication and report any suspected case to the nearest health facility. Public health measures are to be strictly adhered to. Treatment is free and is been supported by Ebonyi State Government,” he said in the statement.