CHINEDU WOSU, YENAGOA
A new deadly viral epidemic known as “monkey pox” has hit Bayelsa State.
Following the outbreak of the new disease in the state, over ten persons including a medical doctor are now down with the monkey pox and have been quarantined in an isolation centre created at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital NDUTH, Okolobiri near the state capital.
The isolation centre was reportedly created by the Nigerian Centre by Disease Control (NCDC) and the epidemiological team of the state’s Ministry of Health to stop the spread of the virus.
It was learnt that the NCDC and the epidemiological team were tracking 49 other cases , who were said to have come in contact with the infected persons.
Confirming the disease in the state, Commissioner for Health Professor Ebitimitula Etebu, said samples of the virus had been sent to the World Health Organization Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal for confirmation.
Etebu described monkey pox as a viral illness caused by a group of viruses that include chicken pox and small pox, adding that the first case was noticed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and subsequently it had outbreaks in the West African region.
Explaining that 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.
He listed the symptoms of monkey pox as severe headache, fever, back pains amongst other symptoms adding that most worrisome of all the signs were rashes bigger than those caused by chicken pox.