Following the recent confirmation of Monkey Pox resurgence in Nigeria and the death of one person with co-morbidity, the federal government has urged hunters and dealers to desist from bushmeat forthwith.
A press statement signed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, said the order was necessary to prevent any possibility of spillover of the pathogen in Nigeria through the practice of selling and buying of the bushmeat.
The minister also advised Nigerians to avoid contact with persons suspected to be infected with Monkey Pox at home and at work places and discourage the act of consumption, trade and keeping of non-human primate as well as rodents as pets in homes.
He said, “All operators of zoos, parks, conservation and recreational centers keeping non-human primates in their domains must ensure strict compliance with their biosecurity protocols aimed at preventing their contacts with humans and all veterinary clinics, veterinary teaching hospitals and other veterinary health institutions across the country must ensure vigilance so as to be able to pick possible signs and symptoms of Monkey Pox in non-human primate (NHP) patients.
“Transport of wild animals and their products within and across the borders should be suspended/restricted and silos , stores and other agricultural storage facilities must institute active rodent control measures to prevent contacts and possible contamination of Monkey Pox Virus with foodstuff.
“We must also ensure regular handwashing using strong disinfectant anytime we handle NHP and rodents in our various locations and the general public are hereby advised to report any pox-like lesions seen on humans or animals to the nearest human or veterinary clinics respectively.”