By Stanley Nwanosike
The Enugu State Ministry of Health has urged residents of the state to be wary of touching or coming in contact with wild animals, for self-protection against Monkey-pox virus.
The ministry’s Director of Public Health Services, Dr Okechukwu Ossai, gave the advice when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday, on measures taken by the ministry to prevent the disease in the state.
Ossai said the ministry had begun sensitisation in local radio and television stations about the disease, its signs and symptoms.
He said that the ministry had also gone ahead to orientate its disease surveillance officers in all the local governments and border areas on the disease.
The orientation, he said include the physical manifestations and signs of the disease.
“At the grassroots, we have alerted our health focal persons to monitor the environment and ensure that no one incubates any strange disease in his or her house,’’ he said.
The director said that personal, family and environmental hygiene especially hand washing, was key and necessary for all residents of the state to observe, to avoid any form of virus or contagious disease.
He said monkey-pox could be contacted through touching the body or body fluid of wild animals, adding that apart from monkeys, antelopes and wild rats could also harbour the virus.
“I will also urge hunters, butchers and those that prepare bush meat from these animals for consumption to be wary.
“However, if the meat from these animals mentioned are cooked very well beyond boiling point, the meat is safe as the virus is destroyed via proper boiling.’’
Health experts explain that Monkey-pox, a virus found in monkeys and other wild animals is, however, rare in humans, adding that it belongs to the same family of Chicken-pox and Small-pox.