Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that the Federal Government is already addressing the outbreak of Monkey pox in Bayelsa state.

In a statement on the NCDC’s website, Dr. Chike said “On the 22nd of September, 2017, the NCDC was notified of a case of suspected Monkeypox in an 11 year old male patient who presented to the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH) in Bayelsa state.

“Subsequently, 11 other cases were identified; all the cases are currently receiving appropriate medical care.

“All the patients are improving clinically and there have been no deaths, as at 1st October 2017, 32 close contacts of the cases have been identified, advised appropriately and are being monitored,’’

The centre said a Rapid Response Team had been deployed to the state and were monitoring the situation to prevent a further spread of the disease.

The NCDC’s CEO said the disease was primarily transmitted from some specific animals to humans. These animals he said includes squirrels, rats and monkeys.

He said, “The most common animal hosts are squirrels, rats and sometimes, monkeys, the Monkeypox virus can cause an illness with the following symptoms; a generalised vesicular skin rash, fever and painful jaw swelling.

“In previous outbreaks, it has led to death in about one to 10 per cent of infected cases, although there is no specific medicine to treat the disease, when intensive supportive care is provided most patients recover fully”

Dr. Chikwe said the centre would continue to carry out sensitization programmes on the disease to get people well informed about the disease