Akwa Ibom reactivates emergency centres to check spread of monkey pox

Monkey pox: NCDC, medical experts call for precautionary hygiene

Monkey pox: NCDC, medical experts call for precautionary hygiene

Akwa Ibom government says it has reactivated emergency response centres to check  the spread of the disease following a confirmed case of the monkey pox disease in the state.

It added that it has directed all health facilities and workers to be on alert, exercise high index of suspicion, to observe and practice universal precautions while handling patients, report all and any suspicious cases to Rapid Response team in the state.

The commissioner for health, Dominic Ukpong who made this known in Uyo, the state capital while addressing reporters on efforts being made by the state government to curtail the spread of the disease

Ukpong who described monkey pox as  a rare disease transmitted to humans by animals and it is caused by a virus, (Orthopoxvirus genus of the family Poxviridae)which was first isolated from Monkey serum by the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1958 disclosed that apart from the one confirmed case, a female petty trader who had suspicious rashes and her two children with similar rashes had been quarantined in her home.

According to him, transmission is from direct contact with blood, body fluid, cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected or dead animals such as monkeys, Gambian giant rats, squirrels, prairie dog; eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals, human to human transmission can result from close contact with infected persons, respiratory droplet, objects recently contaminated by patients fluids or lesion materials.

He said it is also transmitted via the placenta (Congenital monkey pox).

He  urged members of the public to take personal hygiene seriously and avoid eating bush and inadequate cooked meat while health workers should wear gloves and protective clothing.

  He said the symptoms of the disease include rashes which often begin on the face and then spread to other parts.

“ The rashes vary from few thousand affecting oral mucous membranes, eye lids, conjunctiva and even genitalia. It moves through stages: moculopapular (having flat bases), to vesicles (small fluid blisters), to Pustules, followed by crusts and scabs and fall off after about 10 days.

“The whole illness last about 2 to 4 weeks; it is a self limited disease,” he said.

He also advised  people to prevent being infected by avoiding contact with infected or dead animals and to practice washing of hands with water and soap always especially “if you are taking care of sick relation, avoid contact with blood, body fluids or skin of infected animals.”

ANIEFIOK UDONQUAK, Uyo

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Author: ANIEFIOK UDONQUAK, Uyo