The Federal Ministry of Health has announced 74 suspected cases of Monkey Pox in 11 States of Nigeria. The affected states are Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Cross River, Nasarawa, Imo, Enugu, Ekiti and Delta States including FCT.
What is Monkey-pox?
It is a viral disease that produces pox lesions on the skin and is closely related to smallpox. It is a rare disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, usually near tropical rainforests.
The Federal Ministry of Health has told Nigerians to avoid the consumption of monkeys, bush meat and dead animal as doing so could expose one to the risk of Monkey Pox disease.
How is it transmitted?
The majority of cases are transmitted from animals to humans by direct contact, as it can also be found in bush animals such as rats, squirrels and antelopes.
Monkey pox can spread to humans from an infected animal through an animal bite or direct contact with the animal’s lesions or body fluids. The disease also can be spread from person to person, often from patient to care-giver or by air borne droplet infection.
What are the Symptoms?
These include fever, nausea, malaise and characteristic lymph node enlargement. After about 4-7 days, lesions develop on the face and trunk that ulcerate, crust over, and begin to clear up after about 14-21 days, leaving residual scarring.
How is it treated?
This include isolation and palliative care to treat the symptoms. Prior Vaccination against smallpox seems to afford about 85% chance of avoiding the infection.
Treatment with an antiviral drug or human immune globulin has been done. There is no commercially available vaccine specifically for Monkey-pox.
How can it be prevented?
· Monkey Pox is preventable as long as people avoid direct contact with infected animals and people.
· Step up your personal hygiene level. Wash your hands as often as you can with soap and clean flowing water.
· Avoid contact with animal sores, dead animals and their excretions
· Wash hands with soap and water after contact with animals or when caring for sick relatives or soiled beddings.
· Tell everyone you meet about Monkey Pox so they are informed
Be aware. Protect yourself; protect your family; protect your community from Monkey-Pox.