BY DOYIN OJOSIPE, Abuja –
The federal government yesterday said only three were confirmed as cases of Monkey Pox out of the 12 suspected cases reported in Bayelsa State.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole said while 21 suspected cases were sent to the World Health Organisation’s Senegal Dakar laboratory, 19 results have been received so far.
Adewole said the results sent by WHO ruled out the case of Monkey Pox outbreak in Lagos and some other parts of the country.
He said, “With these results, three suspected Monkey pox outbreak in Yenagoa has been confirmed with laboratory evidence. The most likely source of infection is a primary zoonotic transmission, from an animal, with secondary person-to-person transmission.”
Adewole further urged Nigerians to avoid discriminating against the sick as the disease is not as fatal as feared.
He said though the disease does not have a ready discovered vaccine, patients are being given supportive treatments.
In the same vein, the Country Representative, WHO, Dr Wondi Alemu said unconfirmed cases are still being observed and analysed to determine the kind of disease or virus it is.
Alemu also noted that the need to transfer the cases to its Senegal Dakar Laboratory is due to the fact it has more sophisticated means of diagnosis.
The Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu added that Nigerians should note that since the outbreak, no death had been recorded as supportive treatments are being put in place for those affected.
Ihekweazu also urged Nigerians to avoid direct contact with animals such as squirrels, rats among others especially to avoid killing such animals with bare hands.
The NCDC Boss advised that patients desist from self-medication as it may ruin their chances of getting proper diagnosis and full treatment.
He said that other cases yet to be confirmed may indicate that the country is dealing with two different outbreaks in different parts of the country.
He further advised health workers to observe the best standard practice and be cautious while at duty.
Ihekweazu urged Nigerians to call the EOC line 08148296538 to report any suspected case.
He said, “The Monkey pox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. Monkey pox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) and the incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkey pox is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days.
Specifically, it begins with: Fever, Headache, Muscle, aches, Backache, Swollen, lymph nodes, Chills Exhaustion.”
“Within 1-3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often begin on the face then spread to other parts of the body,” he added.