Health Advisory for Monkeypox Disease


While it is unfortunate that a suspected viral disease, characterized by fever, skin eruptions and body pains, is afflicting people in some parts of Bayelsa State, in southern Nigeria. The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) continues to urge everyone to maintain healthy and hygienic habits, and to cooperate with healthcare workers, including members of the health protection agencies, such as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), the Bayelsa State Ministry of Health, and other State Ministries of Health, in order to bring an end to this outbreak, which seems to be Monkeypox Disease. 

What is Monkeypox disease?

Monkeypox disease is a type of zoonosis, which are diseases and/or infections that are naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans.  This is a rare disease, but it could be deadly. It is more likely to be acquired by humans through various wild animals (prairie dogs, monkeys, squirrels, rats, etc.), than through human-to-human transmission, though this is definitely not unlikely. There are currently no treatment or vaccine for this disease, so utmost care and prevention are essential.   

Symptoms and Detection

Phase I: The invasion period, which spans between 0-5 days, and is often characterized by fever, intense headache, swelling of the lymph nodes, back pain, muscle ache, and general weakness.
Phase II: The skin eruption period, which occurs within the first three days of infection. This phase is characterized by the appearance of rashes on the body of the patient, and it often begins with the face.

Transmission

Monkeypox disease can be contracted through blood, bodily fluids and wounds of infected animals such as: monkeys, Gambian giant rats, squirrels, and rodents in general. It can also also be contracted by eating undercooked meat of infected animals.
Human-to-human transmission mainly occurs through respiratory droplets, resulting from prolonged face-to-face contact. It can also occur by being in close contact with broken skin of an infected person or objects recently contaminated by a patient's fluids. Other routes of infection also includes from the mother to the unborn baby (congenital monkeypox).

Prevention

  • Raising awareness of the risk factors of monkeypox and educating people about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus.
  • Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission by avoiding close physical contacts with monkeypox-infected patients.
  • Gloves and protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill people.
  • Regular hand washing should be carried out after caring for or visiting sick people.
  • Thoroughly cooking all animal products (meat) before eating, and sourcing such meat only from healthy, recommended markets.
  • Gloves and other appropriate protective clothing should be worn while handling sick animals or their infected tissues, and during slaughtering procedures

If you notice any symptoms, or have reason to believe that you have been exposed, please visit the nearest healthcare center or call any of the following emergency numbers: 08036722138, 08036087938, 08092855111, 08066997434, 08035272674.

Reference
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs161/en/

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