There has been a new deadly viral outbreak known as “monkeypox” in Bayelsa state. A total of 11 people are already victim of this disease, including a medical doctor. All who have been quarantined in an isolation centre created at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH) Okolobiri.
It was learnt that the NCDC and the epidemiological team were tracking 49 other victims, who had come in contact with the infected persons.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, who confirmed the development, said samples of the virus, had been sent to the World Health Organisation (WHO) laboratory in Dakar, Senegal, for confirmation.
He disclosed that the first case was noticed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and subsequently had outbreaks in West Africa.
Saying the virus has the Central African and the West African types, the commissioner said the West African type is milder and has no records of mortality.
Etebu added: “The source is usually all animals. It was first seen in monkeys and that is why it is called monkey pox. But every bush animals like rats, squirrels, antelopes are involved. So, the secretions from particularly dead animals are highly contagious.”
The commissioner listed that the symptoms of monkey pox include : severe headache, fever and back pain amongst others, adding that most worrisome of all the signs were rashes bigger than those caused by chicken pox.