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Monkeypox Spreads To Akwa Ibom As Bayelsa Intensifies Action

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The recent appearance of the Monkeypox virus in Nigeria may be turning into an epidemic with the first case of the disease being reported in Akwa Ibom State.

The virus was first detected in Bayelsa State, after which it was reported in Rivers. The three states are rich in oil and gas, the main source of income for the Nigerian government.

One confirmed case has been recorded in the state, while two other suspected cases are under investigation.

FILE: This 7-year-old Congolese child developed monkeypox after hunting squirrels in the forest surrounding her village.

This latest outbreak was confirmed in a statement by the Akwa Ibom State commissioner for information and strategy, Charles Udoh. the disease which has no known treatment or vaccine exhibits similar symptoms to smallpox, but it is milder, and larger rashes appear on the skin.

Udoh said the disease which has no known treatment or vaccine exhibits similar symptoms to smallpox, but it is milder, and larger rashes appear on the skin.

He warned residents to avoid excessive handshakes and abstain from eating bush meat. Regular handwashing is also advised.

The first reported cases of the Monkeypox outbreak were recorded in the Fangbe area of Bayelsa state on October 5, where 13 people were hospitalised and 49 suspected cases quarantined.

Bayelsa Intensifies War Against Monkeypox

In its efforts to curb the spread of the viral monkey pox disease, the Bayelsa State Government has intensified its efforts, especially in the areas of public enlightenment ‎and civic engagement.

The government therefore called on residents of the state to report all suspected cases of the disease by using the following ‎hotlines: 08066987752 and‎ 08035474676, to get rapid response team.‎

A statement issued on Sunday, October 8, 2017 by the new commissioner for information and orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson also disclosed that the ‎spirited sensitisation campaign mounted by his Ministry on radio with translations in all the local dialects in the state would be aggressively sustained.

According to him, the government has commenced ‎sensitisation campaign and advocacy visits to communities in the state on the need to reassure the indigenes of government’s intervention and activities in curbing further spread of the disease..

‎‎While giving an update of the situation, Iworiso-Markson disclosed that the government had curbed further spread of the disease, adding that out of the number of those affected and quarantined at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Okolobiri, many were already showing signs of recovery.

Iworiso-Markson explained that two of the index cases and the doctor affected by the disease had since fully recovered and discharged and expressed joy that‎ so far no death had been recorded.

He said: “To further allay the fears and reassure Bayelsans of government’s efforts in curbing the disease, let me make it clear that we are on top of the situation. However it is important for people to take note of the fact that prevention is better than cure.

“Hence, they are required to always wash their hands, avoid monkeys, bush meats and dead animals as well as be on the lookout for symptoms which often manifest as various stages of rash and an intense weakness of the body, severe pains, among other things.”

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