Earlier this week, an outbreak of infection in Bayelsa, called monkey pox, was reported.
Punch reported that the Bayelsa state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu said the first case was detected in Agbura and the person is said to have killed and ate a monkey before developing the rashes and thereby infecting neighbours and families.
So far, 10 patients have been isolated and are undergoing treatment while 49 other cases are under close watch.
So, here are the things you need to know about monkey pox and how to avoid it
What is Monkey pox
Monkeypox virus is a zoonotic viral disease, that is, infectious diseases of animals that can naturally be transmitted to humans. According to World Health Organisation, human monkeypox was first detected in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and it is similar to small pox, although it is milder. It occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
In Africa, monkeypox are reportedly contacted through the handling of infected monkeys.
Human monkeypox is contacted from having a direct contact with the blood, and bodily fluids of infected animals as well as being bitten by an infected animal.
Asides from monkeys, the animals that should be avoided includes, squirrels, rats and antelopes, as well as discharge from dead animals, which could be dangerous.
Also, eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is dangerous.
An infected person can also transmit monkeypox.
In the first five days of being infected with monkeypox, patients may experience fever, severe headaches, swelling of the lymph nodes, back and muscle pain, and a serious lack of energy.
After the fever, victims usually develop a distinctive rash that is similar to, but milder than smallpox, and this particularly affects the face, palms of the hands and soles of the feet, but can also appear on the inside of the mouth and on eyeballs and private parts. The rashes can develop into fluid-filled blisters and can take three weeks to clear up completely.
Children are said to be more vulnerable to monkeypox.
There is no specific medicine to treat the monkeypox, but smallpox vaccines have proved to be effective in preventing the disease. With intensive care, patients can also recover fully.
However, avoid contact with animals, especially animals that are sick or found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs.
Always wash hands with soap and water after contact with animals or when caring for sick relatives; humans or soiled clothing.