Monkey pox: Senate panics, urges containment of spread

OrderPaperToday- Following the recent outbreak of monkey pox disease in Nigeria, the Senate has urged the Federal Government to take steps to curb further spread.

This was sequel to a motion moved by Senator Malam Ali Wakili (APC, Bauchi) on Tuesday.

The motion noted that the Monkey pox virus was first identified in Denmark in 1958 during an investigation into a pox like disease amongst monkeys and later identified in humans in 1970 in Zaire, today’s Democratic Republic of Congo in a 9 year old boy.

Monkey pox infections result from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals Similarly human infections have also been documented through the handling of infected monkeys, rats and squirrels with rodents being the major reservoir of the virus.

The disease is transmitted primarily via droplets of respiratory particles usually requiring prolonged face to face contact, or through inoculation or close contact with infected respiratory tract secretions; skin lesions, open wounds, injuries of an infected person.

The incubation period is usually from 6 to 16 days but can range from 5 to 21 days and has an invasion period of 0-5 days characterized by fever, intense headache, lymphadeno pathy i.e. swelling of the lymph node, back-pain; muscle ache and intense lack of energy.

The skin erupts within 1-3 days after appearance of fever where the various stages of rash appears on the face and then spread elsewhere on the body as symptoms;

Decrying the perilous outbreak, Wakili  said “that there are no specific treatments in the provision or availability of vaccine for Monkey-pox infections and that Nigerians have been thrown into panic as the country’s health sector is facing a myriad of challenges;

“There is no vaccine or specific treatment, the only ways to reduce the infection in people is through awareness of risk factors, enlightenment about measures to be taken to reduce exposure to the virus, reduction of possibility of animal to human transmission and through cooking of all animal products before consumption.”

The red chamber called for aggressive enlightenment and education of citizens about measures that can be taken to mitigate risk factors of exposure to the virus via the conventional media broadcast, electronic, print and the social media.

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