Monkeypox: Things You Should Know About The Disease

by - Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Things you should know about monkeypox

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus. The disease, which is a similar to but milder than Smallpox, is transmitted to people from various wild animals. It however, has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission.

It was first reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then known as Zaire) in a 9 year old boy who lived in a region where smallpox had been eradicated 2 years prior.

It was also reported in Midwest U.S in 2003 and most patients, it was discovered, had had close contact with pet prairie dogs.

According to the U.S Centre for Disease Control, the natural reservoir of the disease remains unknown, however, some rodent species are expected to play a role in its transmission.

World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that the infection has been found in many animal species: rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian rats, striped mice, dormice and primates.

Transmission of Monkeypox

Through direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or handling of infected animals.
Eating infected animals is also another risk factor.
Human-human transmission is through infected respiratory tract secretions and skin lesions of an infected person or objects recently contaminated by patient fluids or lesion materials.
There is however, no evidence that

Here are some ways to prevent the spread of Monkeypox:

Avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus (including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs).

Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that has been in contact with a sick animal.
Isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.

Practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

Signs and symptoms of the disease include: Fever, Headache, Muscle aches, Backache, Swollen lymph nodes, Chills, Exhaustion. These signs occur between 0 – 5 days of contracting the disease.

After about 1 – 3 days of appearance of fever, the patient begins to develop rashes which starts from the face and spreads to several parts of the body.

Treatment of Monkeypox

There is no proven treatment for the disease, however, smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) can be used in controlling its spread.

Please do well to report any of the above symptoms to the nearest appropriate medical centre as well as make sure the preventive measures listed above are taken.

"The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) yesterday announced that fresh cases of Monkeypox disease had been recorded in the country. A statement by the NCDC Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this."- The Guardian

According to The Guardian, he said 19 fresh cases had been recorded across the country, aside from the 12 cases that were earlier recorded in Bayelsa State. According to the statement, other states where the disease has been discovered are Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross River States.

“Following the notification of a suspected Monkeypox outbreak on September 22, 2017 in Bayelsa State, other suspected cases have been reported from six more states, bringing the total number of suspected cases to 31 across seven states.

“Samples have been collected from each suspected case for laboratory confirmation and the results are still being awaited. So far, there have been no deaths recorded. It is unlikely that many of the suspected cases are actually monkeypox, as they were all being investigated.”

Ihekweazu explained that the suspected cases are currently receiving appropriate medical care, even as the patients were improving clinically. He said the Federal Ministry of Health, through the NCDC was supporting the affected states to ensure that the outbreak was brought under control.

The epidemiologist disclosed that the NCDC had activated an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to coordinate investigation and response to the disease.

The symptoms include fever, headache, body pain, malaise, lymphadenopathy (enlargement of glands), sore throat and the characteristic generalised vesicular rash.

While urging general cleanliness, he added that the rashes might last between two to four weeks. Monkeypox is self-limiting, which means patients could recover with time.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said the blood samples from the two suspected cases in the state had been taken to the laboratory to verify their status.

Idris said although there was no specific vaccine for the disease, the vaccination against small pox has been proven to be 85 per cent effective in preventing the disease.

He urged residents to avoid close contact with infected people, wash their hands with soap, as well as avoid the consumption of bush meat and dead animals.

In Akwa Ibom State, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong urged the residents not to panic. He said: “It is only Senegal that has the equipment to confirm the disease, so the samples of all suspected cases have been sent for confirmation.”

In Rivers State, two patients suspected to be infected with the virus are currently hospitalised at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, (UPTH).

The Chief Medical Director of the Institution, Prof. Aaron Ojule, who disclosed this yesterday, said the patients are in isolation ward where experts were managing their condition, pending the outcome of the samples taken for examination.

According to Y Naija, on the issue of the monkeypox, the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, summoned the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, over the outbreak of monkeypox in the country.

Lawmaker from Bayelsa State, Mr. Diri Douye, raised the issue under matters of urgent national importance, praying that the minister should be summoned, Y Naija reports 

“The House is concerned by the shocking admission of Adewole that monkeypox could not be confirmed in Nigeria until laboratory investigations by WHO and referral to Dakar, Senegal.

“Again, concerned that the disease has spread to other states, notably Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, in spite of concerted efforts by the Bayelsa State Government since the initial report in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State,” the House motion read partly.

News Source : Bella Naija ; The Guardian
Photo Credit: The Guardian

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