Asaba — Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nichols Azinge, has assured residents of the state of government's preparedness to tackle the issue of monkey pox as the state's medical 'Response Team' has been placed on red alert regarding the surveillance.
Azinge gave the assurance thursday when he embarked on a surveillance inspection to the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba in Oshimil South Local Government Area and the General Hospital, Owa-Alero in Ika North East Local Government Area of the state.
The state health commissioner, however, confirmed that five suspected cases of the dreaded disease have so far been reported in the state.
Azinge explained that of the five cases reported at FMC Asaba, four were from Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area while one was from Ibusa in Oshimili North Local Government Area.
He nevertheless disclosed that two of the patients were subsequently treated and discharged having responded to treatments, which he said was a pointer to the fact that the discharged cases were not monkey pox.
He acknowledged that only one of the cases has indications of monkey pox virus but have been quarantined while the tracking of the persons who may have been in contact with him is in earnest.
Blood samples of suspected cases have been duly sent for laboratory test in Darker, Senegal, for confirmation, he revealed, noting that until the test results were released, no one could say with certainty if they were cases of monkey pox or not.
Azinge stressed the need to visit hospitals handling patients who have similar symptoms of monkey pox with a view to getting firsthand information on the cases and how the hospitals were coping.
He urged Deltans to be calm and report suspected symptoms of the virus to the nearest health facility instead of relying on self medication.
He stated that the State Rapid Response Team are very much on ground and are prepared to tackle any outbreak of any form of disease, and reminded the health care givers to always follow the laid down protocol and how to attend to suspected cases.
Nonetheless, Azinge advised members of the public to desist from eating the meat of rodents like squirrel, rabbit, rats as well as primates (animals of the monkey family) as part of measures against the disease.
"Meats should be properly cooked before eating, regular and proper hand washing with soap, minimize contacts with persons with money pox virus, body fluids of suspected sufferers are all prevention mechanism that should be adopted by all," he advised.