Indications emerging from the outbreak of the dreaded viral disease, which was first noticed in Bayelsa State on 22 September 2017, revealed that the virus has spread to more states, with number of suspected cases rising to 31 across 7 States – Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross River States, as stated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
With Lagos State being the newest with suspected cases, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris has acknowledged the development, stating that the concerned persons are being investigated.
Dr Idris told journalists at a news conference on Monday that it has become necessary to sensitise residents about the viral disease which has been reported in some states.
“Though no confirmed case has been recorded, there is the need to sensitize members of the public and provide adequate information on measures for prevention and control of the disease in line with the policy of the State Government,” he said.
While assuring residents of the state that measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of the virus, he urged residents to be vigilant and maintain “high personal and environmental hygiene”.
Affirming the lack of specific vaccine for the disease, he however asserted that vaccination against Smallpox has been proven to be 85 percent effective in preventing Monkeypox. “There is also no specific anti-viral therapy for Monkeypox, however, the disease is self-limiting and could be managed conservatively”.
He therefore highlighted the preventive measures to be taken against the spread of the disease to include: #avoiding close contact with infected people; #avoiding consumption of bushmeat and dead animals;# cooking of meat and meat product thoroughly before eating and #washing hands with soap and running water frequently and thoroughly.”
It will be recalled that the incident of the virus was first reported in Bayelsa last week with a medical doctor and 10 others quarantined.