Two suspected cases of monkeypox have been recorded in Lagos state, Jide Idris, commissioner for health, disclosed on Monday.
Idris told journalists at a press conference that it had become necessary to sensitise residents about the viral disease which had earlier been reported in three states: Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers.
He assured residents of the state that measures had been put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Though no confirmed case has been recorded, there is the need to sensitise members of the public and provide adequate information on measures for prevention and control of the disease in line with the policy of the state government,” he said.
“I need to state that though there is no specific vaccine for the disease, vaccination against Smallpox has been proven to be 85 percent effective in preventing Monkeypox. There is also no specific anti-viral therapy for Monkeypox, however, the disease is self-limiting and could be managed conservatively.
“The preventive measures to be taken against the spread of the disease include; avoiding close contact with infected people; avoiding consumption of bushmeat and dead animals; cooking of meat and meat product thoroughly before eating and washing hands with soap and running water frequently and thoroughly.”
WHAT IS MONKEYPOX?
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, though less severe. Monkeypox is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The virus was first identified in the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1958 during an investigation into a pox-like disease among monkeys. Severe headache, fever, back pains, rashes are among the symptoms of the disease.