Monkeypox Disease: Nigerians Warned Against Eating Bush meat

A rare disease -Monkeypox, actively transmitted to humans by rodents or primates and by a secondary human-to-human transmission has found its way into the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The disease broke out in Bayelsa State where a medical doctor and 10 other persons have been quarantined and 49 others been traced.

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

The monkeypox virus is transmitted via contact with an infected animal’s blood, flesh, bite, or an infected human. It is a rare viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms in humans similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although less severe.

As a means of avoiding contracting monkeypox, the Federal Ministry of Health has advised Nigerians to avoid consuming bushmeat -particularly bush monkeys, and dead animals.

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Prof. Adewole, the Minister of Health, gave the advice to Nigerians on Thursday, October 5. The minister also revealed that test samples had been sent to the World Health Organisation in Senegal but the result was not yet out.

He called on Nigerians who had symptoms of fever, back pain and rashes resembling chicken pox, to report to the hospital. The ministry revealed the symptoms to include a headache, fever, back pains and in advanced cases, rashes bigger than those caused by chicken pox.

Monkeypox -Signs and Symptoms

It manifests as various stages of rash and an intense weakness among other things. Rashes, ranging from a few to several thousand, begins on the face, then palms and feet soles.

The rashes later become fluid-filled blisters and lastly crusts which can affect the oral membranes, genitalia, eyelids, and eyeballs.

Monkeypox -Prevention

To stay safe from this disease, one may need to adhere to the following:

  •  Cook animal flesh or blood properly before consuming. Monkeypox virus remains active in infected primates or rodent even after their death.
  • Stay away from body fluids, lesions, respiratory tract secretions, or objects recently contaminated by monkeypox patients. Transmission occurs via droplets respiratory particles.
  • Wash Your hands regularly
  • If you have been in the proximity of an infected person, go for definitive testing in the laboratory
  • Immediately quarantine infected animals or humans.

Close physical contact is a significant risk factor and protective equipment must be worn while providing care for patients.