Residents of the Fangbe area of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital are living in fear, following the outbreak of a viral disease called Monkey Pox.
Reports say that 13 persons have been infected with the viral disease while 49 others who came in contact with the affected persons are being observed.
The Commissioner of Health of Bayelsa State, Dr. Ebitimitula Etebu who confirmed the news to Channels Television, advised Bayelsans not to panic as the disease is being properly controlled.
According to the Commissioner, the Ministry is yet to get a laboratory confirmation of the epidemic, symptoms from the quarantined patients, which indicates that they are suffering from Monkeypox.
He advised residents of the state to be more hygienic as regular washing of hands will reduce the risk of an infection.
He believes that more people may have been in contact with the quarantined individuals and has, therefore, urged them to come for observation.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State government has assured all affected persons that the state government will take care of the financial responsibility of their treatment and provide other needs of the patients.
The affected persons are presently quarantined in an isolation centre at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
The monkeypox virus is similar to smallpox, but with a milder rash and lower death rate.
The Variation in virulence of the virus has been observed in isolates from Central Africa where strains are more virulent than those from Western Africa.
The virus can spread both from animal to human and from human to human by both droplet respiration and contact with fomites from an infected person’s bodily fluids.
Infection from animal to human can occur via an animal bite or by direct contact with an infected animal’s bodily fluids.
The incubation period is 10–14 days.
Prodromal symptoms include swelling of lymph nodes, muscle pain, headache, fever, and prior to the emergence of the rash.