Rare Viral Disease ‘Monkeypox’ Strikes in Bayelsa | Doctor, 10 Others Quarantined

Residents of Bayelsa have been gripped by fear after the outbreak of a rare deadly viral disease known as monkeypox in the state.

Punch reports that the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, confirmed the development.

According to World Health organisation, monkeypox occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa that “can cause a fatal illness in humans and, although it is similar to human smallpox which has been eradicated, it is much milder.”

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It was reported that a medical doctor and 10 others were down with the disease and were being quarantined in an isolation centre at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control is reportedly tracking 49 people who had contact with the quarantined persons. The health commissioner said:

“Recently in Bayelsa State, we noticed a suspected outbreak of monkeypox. It has not been confirmed. We have sent samples to the World Health Organisation’s reference laboratory in Dakar, Senegal.

When that comes out, we will be sure that it is confirmed. But from all indications, it points towards it.”

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”As the name implies, the virus was first seen in monkey, but can also be found in all bush animals such as rats, squirrels and antelopes.

The source is usually all animals. It was first seen in monkeys and that is why it is called monkeypox. But every bush animals such as rats, squirrels, and antelopes are involved.

So, the secretions from particularly dead animals are highly contagious.”

He listed the symptoms of the disease as severe headache, fever, back pains, etc. and noted that it came with bigger rashes than the smallpox.

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People who have been infected have been advised to come out of hiding to get proper care and limit further spread of the viral disease. Proper hygiene like hand washing and limiting contact with dead animals has been advised.

Monkey pox is an air borne and highly infectious disease.

Punch
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