The Ogun State Government said on Tuesday that the state has not recorded any case of monkey pox since the outbreak of the epidemic in the country.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, said this at a press conference held at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta the state capital.
The Nigerian Center for Disease Control had listed the state as one of those affected by the disease, following its outbreak in Bayelsa and Lagos states.
But while debunking the rumour of the outbreak of the disease in the state, Ipaye said that no incident of monkey pox had occurred in the state.
“It’s 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 recorded any confirmed case of monkey pox in the state. Ogun State doesn’t have a single case,” he said.
The commissioner, however, faulted a report by an official of the General Hospital at Ijebu-Ode that a patient was infected with monkey pox, noting that the patient’s case was totally different from the symptoms of the disease.
He said the officer noticed skin lesion on the body of the patient, who was at the hospital for another primary reason which did not qualify for a suspected case, in the first instance.
He said, “There was an overzealous officer of the ministry who saw somebody with skin lesion in 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 cannot 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 send 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.”
Ipaye, therefore, maintained that the government would continue to engage the citizens of the state in public awareness to prevent the spread of the disease.
The commissioner, who charged the residents to be hygienic, stressed that the state government was ready to accommodate any confirmed case of the disease in its Isolation centers.