The federal government has cautioned Nigerians to avoid eating monkeys, bushmeat and dead animals so as to avoid exposure to the deadly viral epidemic “Monkeypox disease”.
Yesterday, 360nobs reported that at least 10 persons have been infected and quarantined in Bayelsa as a result of the virus, while 49 others alleged to have come in contact with the infected persons are under surveillance.
In a statement issued on behalf of the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, by the Director, Media and Public Relations in the ministry, Mrs. Boade Akinola, on Thursday, the minister said the disease neither had a cure nor a vaccine, noting, however, that there was no cause for alarm as it was mild.
The statement read: “He (Adewole) said the virus was mild and there was no known treatment and no preventive vaccines, hence the public should be at alert and avoid crowded places as much as possible.
“He advised the public to avoid eating dead animals, bushmeat and particularly bush monkeys.”
Symptoms of the disease include headache, fever, back pains and in advanced cases, rashes bigger than those caused by chicken pox.
The minister urged anyone with the symptoms to immediately report to the nearest health facility, while advising health workers to maintain a high index of suspicion and observe safety precautions.
Prof. Adewole also revealed that test samples had been sent to the World Health Organisation (laboratory) in Senegal but the result was still being awaited.
The World Health Organisation, had before now, described monkeypox as a rare disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
“The monkeypox virus can cause a fatal illness in humans and, although it is similar to human smallpox which has been eradicated, it is much milder,” WHO had said.