5 October 2017

Nigeria: No Cause for Alarm Over Outbreak of 'Monkey Pox' Virus - Bayelsa Govt

Photo: Vanguard
Monkey pox.

The Bayelsa Government on Thursday allayed fears of possible epidemic following the outbreak of a contagious viral disease called "monkey pox" in the state.

The state's Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenogoa that the state government was on top of the situation.

Etebu said that the government had contained the outbreak and commenced public sensitisation to curtail spread of the virus.

He added that the focus of the enlightenment was enhanced personal hygiene and vigilance with wild animals, the primary vectors of the virus.

The commissioner said "the situation is under control but we are taking further steps to enlighten the public about personal hygiene and to be careful with any wild animals around them.

"We are harping on increased washing of hands.

"We are also working with Veterinary Unit of Ministry of Agriculture to increase surveillance at abattoirs where animals are slaughtered for human consumption."

Etebu disclosed that 11 persons, including a medical doctor, had been quarantined at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Okolobiri in Yenagoa Local Government Area.

He said samples of the virus had been sent to World Health Organisation reference laboratory in Dakar for confirmation.

He explained that "as the name implies, the virus was first seen in monkeys but can also be found in all bush animals such as rats, squirrels and antelopes, and that is why our surveillance on edible animals has to be heightened.

"The source is usually animals. It was first seen in monkeys and that is why it is called monkey pox.

"Secretions from particularly dead animals are highly contagious, so also the fluids from infected persons."

The commissioner recalled that the first index case came from Agbura in Yenagoa where somebody was purported to have killed and ate monkey meat and started developing rashes. (NAN)

More on This

Adewole, Bayelsa Commissioner Call for Calm Over Suspected Monkey Pox Outbreak

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has called for calm on the reported suspected cases of monkey pox disease… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2017 Vanguard. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.