Bayelsa dismisses reports of fresh monkey pox cases

Prof Ebitimitula Etebu, Bayelsa Commissioner of Health, on Monday allayed fears that two new cases of monkey pox virus have been detected in the state.

A family killed and ate monkey meat at Agbura area of Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa and later manifested symptoms of monkey pox disease on September 12, 2017.

Etebu said in a brief telephone chat that the two additional results from the World Health Organisation (WHO) reference laboratories returned positive on Friday, were old cases.

He however explained that the result was not fresh cases and allayed fears that the monkey pox infection was spreading further.

According to him, the blood samples sent for confirmatory tests at the WHO reference laboratory in Dakar, Senegal returned in batches.

The WHO had earlier confirmed three cases and additional two cases making five cases so far in Bayelsa.

He said that the epidemic has been largely contained following the joint efforts of the state government, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and other international public health partners.

He said that most of the 21 patients isolated at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri in Yenagoa where the index case was reported has fully recovered and discharged.

On the current number of patients under surveillance at the quarantine centre, Etebu said: “I can tell you that so many of the patients being monitored and receiving care at the isolation centre have been discharged.

“But the situation is dynamic and the number keeps changing, I have not looked at the data for yesterday and so cannot give you an information that is inaccurate,” he said.

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