Following the outbreak of monkeypox in Bayelsa State which was on October 4th, 2017 confirmed by the State Commissioner of Health, Ebitimitula Etebu, the State has started investigation into the cause of the disease to avoid further spread in the country.
The disease, whose symptoms include, severe headache, fever, back pains, and it also comes with bigger rashes than the smallpox, has so far affected not less than 10 people who according to Punch, have been quarantined at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, in Yenagoa local government area of the state.
“So far, we have 10 patients and we have created an isolation centre at the NDUTH and most of them are on admission and we are following up the 49 cases that we are suspecting might come down with the illness. “As a state, we are taking care of all the expenses of all the isolated cases.
“The disease has an incubation period and it is also self-limiting in the sense that within two to four weeks, you get healed and it confers you with immunity for life.
“We have mobilised virtually every arsenal at our disposal in terms of sensitising the general public and making them aware by radio programmes, jingles and fliers. So, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control has mobilised fully to Bayelsa State. We are on top of the situation.
“The only thing I will tell the general public is to observe hand hygiene and ensure they don’t come in contact with dead animals and their secretions. The disease is air-borne too. So when you come down with it, it is very infectious.
“People should wash their hands whenever they go in or come out of their houses. If they come in touch with animals, they should ensure that they wash their hands.
“They should be very vigilant. People should report any similar cases to the relevant authorities. “A lot of people have come down with the symptoms, but they are hiding in their houses. If they hide, there is the propensity for the infection to spread.
“It is better to quarantine them and treat them so that we can interrupt the spread of the disease. “People should be calm and they shouldn’t get frightened. The state has distributed personal protective equipment to workers and they are using them.”