Monkeypox: Avoid eating monkeys, Health Ministry tells Nigerians

The Federal Ministry of Health has advised Nigerians to desist from eating monkeys, bush meat and dead animals as doing so could make one susceptible to the Monkeypox Disease.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said this in a statement signed by the Director, Media and Public Relations at the ministry, Mrs. Boade Akinola, on Thursday.

 Adewole said the disease neither had a cure nor a vaccine. He, however, said there was no cause for alarm as it was mild.

The statement read in part, “He said that the virus was mild and there was no known treatment and no preventive vaccines hence the public should be at alert and avoid crowded places as much as possible

“He advised the public to avoid eating dead animals, bush meat and particularly bush monkeys.”

The minister also revealed that test samples had been sent to the World Health Organisation in Senegal but the result was not yet out.

The statement added, “Prof. Adewole said although Monkeypox could not be confirmed until laboratory investigations by WHO referral laboratory in Dakar, Senegal, he noted that Monkeypox was milder and had no record of mortality.

“The symptoms include headache, fever, back pains and in advanced cases, rashes bigger than those caused by chicken pox.

He said the disease was a viral illness by a group of viruses that included chickenpox and smallpox.

“Investigation is still ongoing and our partners are working with us on this reported outbreak’ while the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control team in Bayelsa State would give support,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Government on Thursday said there was nothing to be worried about, over the outbreak of MonkeyPox in the state.

Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenogoa.

Eleven people, including a doctor has been diagnosed of the disease and quarantined.

The commissioner asked people to be vigilant with wild animals, the primary vectors of the virus.

He said “the situation is under control but we are taking further steps to enlighten the public about personal hygiene and to be careful with any wild animals around them.

“We are harping on increased washing of hands.

“We are also working with Veterinary Unit of Ministry of Agriculture to increase surveillance at abattoirs where animals are slaughtered for human consumption.”

Samples of the virus has been sent to the World Health Organisation.

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