The government of Delta State has confirmed five cases of reported Monkey pox in the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge explained that of the five cases reported at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Asaba, four were from Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South LGA and one from Ibusa, Oshimili North LGA saying that two have been treated and discharged having responded to treatments.
Azinge also disclosed that only one of the cases has indications of Monkey pox virus and that the patient has been quarantined while the tracking of the persons who may have been in contact with him is in progress.
He assured residents of government’s preparedness to tackle the issue of Monkey pox as the State’s Response Team has been placed on alert in terms of disease surveillance.
Azinge gave the assurance on Thursday when he embarked on a surveillance inspection to the Asaba, Oshimil South Local Government Area and the General Hospital, Owa-Alero, Ika North East Local Government Area.
He stated that there is need to visit hospitals handling patients who have similar symptoms of Monkey pox with a view to getting first hand information on the cases and how the hospitals were coping.
He revealed that blood samples of suspected cases have been sent for laboratory test in Darker, Senegal for confirmation and that until the test results are released, one cannot prove if they were Monkey pox or not.
He urged Deltans to be calm and report suspected symptoms of the virus to the nearest health facility rather than rely on self medication.
He stated that the State Rapid Response Team are very much on ground and are prepared to tackle any outbreak of any form of disease, and reminded healthcare givers to always follow the laid down protocol and how to attend to suspected cases.
Azinge urged the public to desist from consuming rodents (squirrel, rabbit, rats etc) and primates (animals of the monkey family). “Meats should be properly cooked before eating, regular and proper hand washing with soap, minimise contacts with persons with Money pox virus, body fluids of suspected sufferers are all prevention mechanism that should be adopted by all,” he advised.
At Owa-Alero General Hospital, Dr. Okechukwu Ugochukwu, a Medical Doctor in the hospital who on behalf of the Medical Director, Dr. Usama Ejiro Hannah, took the Commissioner and his entourage to the suspected case explained that he saw six cases which were more of chicken pox and added that they were treated and discharge apart from a 56 year old woman whose case progressed due to the challenge of raising fund by the family.
Persons in the Commissioner’s Team during the visits were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Mininie Oseji, Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health, Dr. Charles Ofili, Chief Executive Officer/Director Health Services, Hospital Management Board, Dr. Akpufuoma Pemu, State Epidemiologists, Dr. Ogheneaga Ejiro amongst others.