• Monkey pox is a rare self-limiting viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms in humans similar to those in the past in small pox patients, although less severe.
• Though small pox was eradicated in 1980, monkeypox however occurs sporadically in some parts of Africa.
• Since the onset of the outbreak in Nigeria, SUSPECTED cases have been recorded from 10 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). All are being investigated. No confirmation outside Bayelsa State.
• Monkey pox virus which is transmitted to people from various wild animals, is said to have limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission with the case fatality rate between 1% and 10%. Most deaths occurring in younger age groups.
• There is no specific treatment or vaccine for human monkeypox infection.
• Infection results from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals such as monkeys, rats and squirrels.
• Secondary, or human-to-human, transmission can result from close contact with infected respiratory tract secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or objects recently contaminated by patient fluids or lesion materials.
• Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is a possible risk factor.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
• The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 16 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.
• The skin eruption period (within 1-3 days after the appearance of fever): this period is where the various stages of the rash appears, often beginning on the face and then spreading elsewhere on the body. The face and palms and soles of the feet are most affected.
• Evolution of the rash from maculopapules (lesions with a flat bases) to vesicles (small fluid-filled blisters), then pustules (pus containing rash) followed by crusts (dried blisters), occurs in approximately 10days. It might take three weeks before the complete disappearance of the crusts.
• Some patients develop severe lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) before the rash, which is a distinguish feature of monkeypox compared to other similar diseases.
• Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting disease with the symptoms lasting from 14-21 days. Severe cases occur more commonly among children.
• Though clinical recognition of monkey pox is the first step in diagnosis, the definitive diagnosis can only be done in the laboratory.
• The differential diagnose that must be considered include other rash illness e.g smallpox, chickenpox, measles, bacterial skin infections, scabies, syphilis, and medication-associated allergies.
Measures that can be taken to prevent infection with monkeypox virus include:
• Avoiding direct contact with animals that could harbour the virus including sick or dead animals especially in areas where monkeypox occurs.
• Avoiding contact with any material that has been in contact with a sick animal.
• Isolation of infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.
• Hand washing with soap and water after contact contact with infected animals.
• Wearing gloves and protective equipment when caring for, or visiting sick people.
• Thoroughly cooking all animal products before eating.
• Implementation of standard infection control precautions by health workers.
• Isolating potentially infected animals from other animals.
• Immediate quarantine of any animals that might have come into contact with an infected animal, handling them with standard precautions and observing for monkypox symptoms for 30 days.If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, please go to the nearest health centre or hospital immediately or call the following emergency numbers:
1. ACTIONS TAKEN SO FAR BY THE DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT
Following the reported suspected outbreak of monkey pox recently in Bayelsa State,
• The State Ministry of Health in collaboration with WHO have sensitised the Disease Surveillance Officers in the 25 LGAs in Delta State.
• Honourable commissioner for Health had addressed the press (both electronic and print media) early this month on monkeypox situation in the State.
• Special announcement by the Honourable commissioner for Health on monkeypox on is ongoing on DBS.
• Sensitization of the public by Ministry of Health officials has commenced in some media houses in the State.
• Sensitization of other health workers is being planned.
• Disease outbreak prevention and case management materials have been pre-positioned in the LGAs having common borders with Bayelsa State to forestall possible importation of the disease.
• Radio and television jingles that are meant to inform the general public is being planned.
• The State Rapid Response team have also been placed on Red Alert and they are responding to emergencies wherever they may occur in the State.
• Arrangements have been concluded with NCDC for the rapid transfer of samples collected from suspected cases to WHO reference laboratory for confirmation.
• In addition we are going to maintain constant border patrol of the three LGAs— Patani, Bomadi, Ughelli South and Burutu LGAs – that have common borders with Bayelsa State to forestall possible importation of the disease.
• A total of 3 SUSPECTED cases have been reported in Delta State with 1 case still on admission and no death recorded.
• The result of samples sent to laboratory are being awaited. The cases are being managed by experts and they are responding to treatment.• The general public should not panic as adequate arrangement has been made to prevent and curtail the spread of the disease in Delta State.
Thank you and God Bless Delta State.