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Published On: Tue, Oct 17th, 2017

Monkeypox not a killer disease, FG assures

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By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

The Federal Government has said that the monkey pox disease in the country does not kill.
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, stated this yesterday in Abuja while addressing journalists on the laboratory samples sent ealier to Dakar, Senegal.
He said out of 21 samples sent to Senegal, 19 samples were received. “4 samples from Lagos and 12 from Beyelsa were negative.”
The most likely source of infection is a primary zoonotic transmission, from an animal, with secondary person-to-person transmission. We expect that many of these cases being reported from other states in Nigeria are not caused by the Monkey pox virus, but we will continue to investigate all those cases that fit the case definition.
“Further laboratory tests using whole genome sequencing are being carried out by the Africa Centre for Genomics and Infectious Diseases in Redeemers University Ede, Ogun State.
“Monkey pox is largely a self-limiting disease, from which all suspected patients that have been reported to date are doing well clinically. Even before this confirmation, all the necessary public health measures have been put in place and will continue to be implemented”.
Adewole also said that the federal Ministry of Health through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has established an Emergency Operations Centre and will continue to co-ordinate the response across States and test samples from other cases.
He added that NCDC will also continue to support all states in their response and will keep the public informed as the situation evolves.
“Measures that can be taken to prevent infection with Monkey pox virus include avoiding contact with squirrels, rats and similar animals, especially when these animals are sick or found dead in areas where the Monkeypox virus is circulating. The public is advised to always wash hands with soap and water after contact with animals or when caring for sick relatives.
“The Monkey pox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. Monkey pox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) and the incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkey pox is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days.
“Within 1-3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often begin on the face then spread to other parts of the body.
“Nigerians are advised to remain calm and supportive of public health authorities, avoid self-medication and report to the nearest health facility if feeling unwell or notice any of the above symptoms in anyone around you. It is important to note that there has been no confirmation of Monkey pox in any other part of the country, and it is likely that many of the other cases being reported are not caused by the Monkey pox virus. Nigerians should continue to be vigilant at all times.”

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