The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong has confirmed an information of a suspected case of Monkey Pox in a general hospital where the patient was already in a proper isolation. This discovery, according to the Commissioner, came a day after the news of the outbreak in Bayelsa State.
Another information about a female petty trader who had suspicious rashes was reported, she was found and her two children with similar rashes. She with her children were quarantined in her home.
To check the spread of the disease, the government has reactivated the Infectious Disease Emergency rapid response team, Emergency Operations Centre, has directed all health facilities and workers to be on alert, exercise high index of suspicion, to observe and practice Universal precautions while handling patients, report all and any suspicious cases to Rapid Response team on emergency number: 08037934966 or Emergency Operation Centre EOC on 09023330092.
Monkey Pox, according to Dr. Ukpong, is a rare disease transmitted to humans by animals and it is caused by a virus, (Orthopoxvirus genus of the family Poxviridae) which was first isolated from Monkey serum by the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1958.
Transmission is from direct contact with blood, body fluid, cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected or dead animals such as monkeys, Gambian giant rats, squirrels, prairie dog; eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals, human to human transmission can result from close contact with infected persons, respiratory droplet, objects recently contaminated by patient’s fluids or lesion materials. It can also be transmitted via the placenta (Congenital monkey pox).
Signs and Symptoms include *Incubation Period of 6 to 16 days (can range from 5 to 21 days) after that there’s onset of Fever, Severe headache, Muscle pains, Backache, Lymph nodes swelling (Lymphadenopathy), distinguishing it from other similar diseases *Tiredness *1-3 or more days after start of fever, rashes break out.
Rashes often begin on the face and then spread to other parts. The rashes vary from few thousand affecting oral mucous membranes, eye lids, conjunctiva and even genitalia. It moves through stages: moculopapular (having flat bases), to vesicles (small fluid blisters), to Pustules, followed by crusts and scabs and fall off after about 10 days.
The whole illness last about 2 to 4 weeks; it is a self-limited disease. It is milder than Small pox. It rarely causes death though this can occur especially in children where it is more severe.
There is no treatment available and no vaccination. Small Pox vaccine used to mitigate it but small pox was eradicated in 1980 and the vaccine is no longer available to the general public.
To prevent being infected, avoid contact with infected or dead animals, tell others about it, do not eat inadequately cooked meat, especially bush meat, practice washing of hands with water and soap always especially if you are taking care of sick relation, avoid contact with blood, body fluids or skin of infected animals, health workers should wear gloves and protective clothing when handling patients and should practice universal infection control precautions.