Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Government on Monday confirmed the outbreak of monkeypox disease in the state.
Commissioner for Health, Daniel Umezuruike said the state recorded a total of 32 suspected cases with only one confirmed case.
Mr Umezuruike said the confirmed patient was believed to have contacted the disease from Rivers State when he traveled and presented symptoms of the disease upon his return to the State.
“Notification of a suspected case of Monkeypox on the 10th of August, 2022 at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki.
“A 32 year old male farmer who hails from Ugwulangwu in Ohaozara LGA but resides in Abakaliki said to had travelled to Rivers State, returned to Ebonyi on 7th of July 2022 , and presented with history of fever, masculopapular rash, sore throat, headache and generalized weakness of the body. A presumptive diagnosis of Monkeypox was made to rule out Smallpox,” he said.
The Commissioner noted that the patient’s sample was collected and sent to the NCDC National reference Laboratory and the result came out positive for Monkeypox Virus.
He said the patient was admitted in Ebonyi State isolation center “and is currently being managed for monkeypox and he is responding to treatment.”
“Seven contacts have been identified and line-listed which are currently been followed up. Active case search has been heightened across all the LGAs in the State to strengthen case finding.
“Since the outset of this outbreak, Ebonyi has recorded a total of 32 suspected cases with only one confirmed case.
“Case fatality rate is still 0 (as there has been no record of any death both in suspected and confirmed cases) in the state”, the Commissioner said.
Mr Umezuruike revealed that an EOC has been activated to coordinate the outbreak investigation “and response across the 13LGAs in the State and is currently supporting response activities to contain the monkeypox outbreak via active case search, epidemiological investigation, contact line listing and monitoring of all exposed contacts.”
“Public Health measures have been put in place to ensure effective sample collection and testing to enable laboratory confirmation. Risk communication activities have been heightened to advise the public on preventive measures”, he added.
The Commissioner reminded residents that monkeypox was a viral zoonotic disease with symptoms in human similar to those seen in smallpox patients, but much less severe and with a low case fatality rate.
“It has an incubation period of 5 to 21 days. Monkeypox is self-limiting which means patients tend to recover with time. However, supportive care and management of condition is required and mostly successful.
“Ebonyians are advised to remain calm and go about their normal business. Avoid self-medication and report any suspected case to the nearest health facility.
“Public health measures are to be strictly adhered to. Treatment is free and is been supported by Ebonyi State Government,” he said.