The recent outbreak of monkey pox has had Nigerians worried with the rapid nature of its spread. Just yesterday, news filtered through that the viral disease could have spread into several states in the South-West, Lagos included. However, in the midst of several rumors, some fuelled by speculation and panic, we filter what is actually known about the 2 cases said to have been found in Lagos State.
- The cases are no actually confirmed cases of monkey pox. They are still suspected cases meaning that the cases exhibited symptoms similar to those of the disease.
- The two cases are part of the 31 fresh suspected cases that have been discovered in 5 others, taking the total number of possibly infected states to 7 states
- The two suspected cases were recorded in a private hospital, but the names of the hospitals were not disclosed.
- One of the suspects just arrived from Bayelsa State and ate Bush meat. This is particularly risky as monkey pox is a zoonotic disease, meaning it is contracted from contact with animals.
- The two suspects are currently being quarantined in their various houses until the result of the laboratory investigation are available.
- The laboratory tests may be a while as it is only Senegal that has the equipment to confirm the disease.
- Health workers are also at high risk of contracting the disease especially in the management of patients who present symptoms similar to those of the disease. “…health workers are advised to practice universal safety precautions in the management of suspected or confirmed cases, wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when attending to cases, wash hands after each contact with patient or contaminated materials” Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Jide Idris advised.
In order to protect themselves, members of the public are advised to do the following
- Ensure general personal hygiene
- Avoid close contact with infected people
- Avoid the consumption of bush meat and dead animals