Yenogoa, Nigeria: Bayelsa state Commissioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, has confirmed that Seven out of the 13 patients infected by Monkey pox and admitted at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital in the state have fully recovered. A Physician and an 11 year old had earlier been discharged, having also fully recovered from the virus.
In a statement released on Wednesday in the state’s capital, the health commissioner stated that the recovered patients have been discharged from the hospital. He also said that the other six patients under medical surveillance were responding positively to treatment.
He’s quoted as saying:
‘The government has been able to successfully contain the spread of the disease as no new case has been reported in the last few days. With the way and manner government deployed its machinery and with the team of dedicated health and medical personnel, monkey pox will soon be fully kicked out of Bayelsa state’.
The contagious disease broke out three weeks ago in Agbura area of Yenagoa following reports that a family manifested symptoms of monkey pox after eating monkey meat.
The National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Abuja, earlier said that 31 cases of the monkeypox virus have been recorded in seven states. The affected states include Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun, Bayelsa, Rivers and Cross River States.
The NCDC National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, in a statement on Monday said the agency was awaiting the laboratory results and confirmation of the 31 suspected cases.
Ihekweazu said, “Samples have been collected from each suspected case for laboratory confirmation. Results are still awaited. So far, there have been no deaths recorded.
“It is unlikely that many of the suspected cases are actually monkeypox but all are being investigated. Nigerians are once advised to remain calm, avoid self-medication and report any suspected case to the nearest health facility.Public health authorities across the country have been well informed on what to do when a suspected case arises.”
The NCDC boss said the Federal Government has activated emergency operation centres in affected states to coordinate investigation and response in affected states.
Experts and health officials from the EOC, according to Ihekweazu, will assist the various state Ministries of Health with case finding, epidemiological investigations and contact tracing.
Monkeypox is a rare a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rain forests. Its symptoms are very similar to that of smallpox.
The Chief Medical Director, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri said other victims were responding to treatment, emphasized the need for awareness creation in the bid to effectively arrest the disease and appealed to the media for the usual cooperation.
Ogoina said, “Based on the mandate we have received from the state government, we currently have an isolation centre put in to manage the suspected cases of monkeypox. Indeed, the index case that came in about two weeks ago, the hospital has been fully mobilised to receive and care for every suspected case of monkeypox in the state.
“Currently, in the hospital, we have a designated makeshift facility where we receive adult and children that are suspected to have monkeypox. We are fully mobilised and we have provided sufficient awareness among the staff of the hospital.
“Unfortunately one of our doctors contracted the virus at the early stage of the outbreak before it was fully recognised. But I am happy to inform you that the doctor has been cared for, treated and has fully recovered and he is doing well. We have also successfully treated and managed an 11-year-old index case who has recovered and is doing well.”
The isolation centre is a public health facility owned by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and the epidemiological team of the state’s Ministry of Health to control infectious diseases.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, described monkeypox as a viral illness caused by a group of viruses that include chicken pox and smallpox, adding that the first case was noticed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and subsequent outbreaks in West African region.
The commissioner explained that the virus infection has in the past occured in Central Africa and West Africa adding that the West African type is milder and has no records of mortality.
He listed the symptoms of monkeypox as severe headache, fever, back pains, etc., noting that most worrisome of all the signs are rashes bigger than those caused by chicken pox.
The commissioner said the rashes are usually frightening and usually spread to the entire body of infected persons.
Speaking on the Bayelsa case, Etebu stated, “We noticed the first index case from Agbura, where somebody was purported to have killed and eaten a monkey and after that, the people who are neighbours and families started developing the rashes.
“We have seen cases from as far as Biseni. We invited the NCDC together with our own epidemiological team from the Bayelsa Ministry of Health.
“We have been able to trace most of the people who have come in contact with the patients.
“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.
According to the World Health Organisation, monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
“The monkeypox virus can cause a fatal illness in humans and, although it is similar to human smallpox which has been eradicated, it is much milder,” WHO says.
About Monkeypox – US Center For Disease Control (CDC)
Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (the cause of smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name ‘monkeypox.’ The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then monkeypox has been reported in humans in other central and western African countries (see table below). The 2003 outbreak in the United States is the only time monkeypox infections in humans were documented outside of Africa.
Photo: Monkeypox virus
The natural reservoir of monkeypox remains unknown. However, African rodent species are expected to play a role in transmission.
There are two distinct genetic groups (clades) of monkeypox virus—Central African and West African. West African monkeypox is associated with milder disease, fewer deaths, and limited human-to-human transmission.