Ebonyi commissioner confirms first case of monkeypox

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BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI

Uba Group

The Ebonyi State Ministry of Health has confirmed that one person has tested positive for monkey pox in the state.

The State Commissioner for Health, Daniel Umezurike on Monday during a press briefing explained that the case of Monkeypox was reported on August 10, 2022 at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki.

He said that a 32-year- old male farmer who hails from Ugwulangwu in Ohaozara L.G.A but resides in Abakaliki was said to have travelled to Rivers State, and returned to Ebonyi on¹ July 7, 2022 and presented with history of fever, masculopapular rash, sore throat, headache and generalized weakness of the body.

Umezurike disclosed that the ministry had ramped up surveillance and other activities to curb the spread of infectious disease and urged residents to observe safety measures to reduce the spread of the virus and other infectious diseases in the state.

“Sample was collected and sent to the NCDC National reference Laboratory and the result came out positive for Monkeypox Virus. The patient was admitted in Ebonyi State isolation center and is currently been managed for monkeypox and he is responding to treatment,” he said.

He noted that seven contacts have been identified and line listed which are currently been followed up, “Active case search has been heightened across all the local government areas in the State to strengthen case finding.

“Since the onset 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 have been no record of any death both in suspected and confirmed cases) in the state.

“EOC has been activated to coordinate the outbreak investigation and response across the 13 local government areas 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.

“In light of the above, it is important to be reminded that monkeypox is 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 was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name Monkeypox.

“The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a period of intensified efforts to eliminate smallpox. Since then, Monkeypox has been reported in humans in other central and western African countries.

“Case fatality rate is 1% to 10%, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups and immunocompromised patients. The animal reservoir is not yet known but is highly suspected to be small mammal species such as rodents.The Orthopoxvirus genus (to which monkeypox belong) also include variola virus (the cause of smallpox) and cowpox virus,” he stated.