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11 Oct 2017

Panic as Ekiti Confirms Two Cases of Monkeypox Disease

Cases of the highly dreaded monkeypox disease has been reported in Ekiti State as the virus reportedly spreads round Nigerian states.


File photo: A monkeypox sufferer

According to a Vanguard report, the Ekiti State Government has confirmed two suspected monkeypox cases in the state, even as Ogun State Government refuted a report credited to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, listing the state among  those affected by the viral disorder.

“We have two cases at Okemesi Ekiti. Tests are still being carried out and not until it is confirmed, we can’t come out with any official statement”, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Modupe Alade   said in a press conference in Ado Ekiti.

The victims, Alade noted, were discovered in Okemesi Ekiti, a border town with Osun State in Ekiti West Local Government , have been quarantined while their blood samples have been taken to Abuja for laboratory tests. Meanwhile, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State government  refuted the report credited to the NCDC, saying  there was no incident of monkey pox in the state.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye who revealed this  in his office, said  the case has not been comfirmed as a case of Monkey Pox in the first instance and that no due process was completed before the case was reported.

“It was very surprising as the State Commissioner for Health and the Chief epidemiologist of the state to hear that Ogun State was listed, We have not incidented any confirmed case of monkey pox in the state, Ogun state doesn’t have a single case.

“Yes, there was an overzealous officer of the Ministry who saw somebody with skin lesion in the state hospital, Ijebu -Ode and unfortunately called the Federal Ministry of Health and incidented suspected case.

“Any patient in the category of that patient that was incidented can not be considered as a suspected case because the patient has another primary problem that can give rise to skin lesion, that is not a suspected case.

“Further questioning was even very revealing that the skin lesion the patient had was not even pathognomonic of monkey pox, it was not suggestive of monkey pox but more of another skin lesion and the screening revealed that, that negates the entire report itself.

“We are not averse to reporting one, if there is a case, and we are not willing to cover up a case but we must also not sent people panicking for things that we do not have.

“We have seen, classically the distribution of rash in monkey pox is that the rashes tends to be more on the face and symbolically at the palm and the sole of the feet, this patient has neither of those and when we did a secondary screening, we discovered that there’s even a primary reason why the patient had the rash”, he remarked.

Meantime, following the outbreak of Monkey Pox in the neighbouring Ekiti State, Osun State government has created three isolation centres to handle the case in case the state is equally affected in the future.

The government also said doctors and other health workers in the state would be trained and sensitized on how to prevent and handle viral monkey pox disease in the state. Addressing a press conference in Osogbo yesterday, the state Commissioners fo Health, Information and Environment, Dr. Rafiu Kusamotu, Mr. Lani Baderinwa and Oluwagbemiga Oyinlola respectively advised residents of the state to avoid contact with animals or animal products and also keep proper hygiene.

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