The Bayelsa state government has announced that 13 people in the state have tested positive for monkeypox.
The Director of Public Health in the state’s Ministry of Health, Dr. Jones Stow, who made this known on Thursday, said the confirmed cases were among the 50 samples sent for laboratory testing.
He explained that the viral disease can be transmitted to humans through products from animals or contaminated surfaces.
According to him, the infection causes skin rashes that develop into large blisters and lead to scars.
Stow said the state government has mobilized medical surveillance teams that are conducting active search operations to contain the spread of monkeypox infection.
He said the government is also educating the public about the disease, especially in communities where cases have occurred.
Stow said, “In Bayelsa, we have confirmed 13 cases (of monkeypox) out of 50 samples sent in. We have sent our surveillance teams into the localities to do what we call an active search, where we go from household to household and ask if anyone in the household has contracted these rashes.
“And then we look at how we can get that under control quickly, and if possible, we move those affected to our isolation ward if the cases are bad,” he said.
“We’ve also set up a coordination mechanism we call the Public Health Emergency Centre for Monkeypox, where we meet almost daily to discuss the problems. We have started training our health staff and even our surveillance teams.”
The health expert also pointed to preventive measures, which include proper food handling and preparation, fumigation and setting death traps for rodents, which he said are the main vectors of the disease.