By Ifeoma Akah
Dr Okechukwu Ossai, the Director of Public Health in Enugu State, says there is no reported case of monkey pox in the state as insinuated in the social media.
Ossai who spoke on Tuesday in Enugu, said that officials of the state Ministry of Health had investigated the rumour and found out that it was false.
“We went to Park Lane Teaching Hospital where it was rumoured of a suspected case of monkey pox and discovered that it was false.
“There was no history of travel or contact with animal by the said patient. We are appealing to people to stop spreading wrong information about the disease,’’ he said.
Ossai said that the state was on top of the situation, adding that it had embarked on intensive sensitisation in the 17 local government areas of the state on preventive measures.
“The ministry has heightened surveillance in every part of the state. We have held meetings with heads of health officials and some traditional rulers and other stakeholders on the disease.
“We have also repositioned things like personal protective facilities for health officials in various hospitals and health centres,’’ he said.
The director urged people of the state to reduce intake of bush meat and always wash their hands with running water and soap.
Ossai, however, cautioned against the use of hand sanitisers as the only precautionary measure, pointing out that most sanitisers in markets and shops had expired.
On symptoms, the director said the disease had two stages, invasion and eruption, and each has its own symptoms.
“For invasion, you have fever, severe headache, body pains, cough and sore throat and for eruption, the patient will start developing big enlargements like boils.
“The rashes are bigger than chicken pox and occasionally, they burst and spread to other parts of the body and this happens within a period of one week,’’ he said.
Ossai said that it could affect any age group, but was worse among younger ones and people with immune illnesses like cancer and diabetes.
The medical practitioner also said that physical contact with rodents, monkeys and some related wild animals were the easiest mode of transmission.
He advised people to avoid contacts with such animals and infected persons especially travelers from areas with such cases. (NAN)