In Bayelsa State, Nigeria, a new deadly viral disease, “monkeypox,”recently was discovered. A medical doctor and other persons have been found infected and quarantined in an isolation centre at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state. 49 other persons who have had contact with the infected individuals are also under surveillance, as reported by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Source: Punch Newspaper
Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs majorly in remote parts of Central and West Africa. The Monkeypox virus can cause a fatal illness in humans. The virus can be transmitted to people from various wild animals. Limited human-to-human transmission has also been reported. Case fatality ranges between 1 and 10% with younger age groups more affected.
Transmission: Infection results from direct contact with the blood, body fluids, and skin lesions of infected animals. Handling of infected monkeys, Gambian giant rats and squirrels, with rodents, has been documented in African human infections. Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is a possible risk factor. Human-to-human transmission results from close contact with respiratory tract secretions, skin lesions, or objects recently used by infected individuals. Transmission via placenta from mother to child has also been reported.
Signs and symptoms: The period from infection to onset of symptoms is about 6 to 16 days. It can range from 5 to 21 days. The first phase of the disease (invasive period; 0-5 days) is characterized by fever, intense headache, swelling of the lymph nodes, back pain, muscle ache, and lack of energy. The next phase is the skin eruption period (within 1-3 days of fever) where rash appears from the face and spreads to the entire body.
Diagnosis: MonkeyPox can only be definitively diagnosed in the laboratory where the virus can be identified using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); antigen detection tests, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay; and virus isolation by cell culture.
Treatment and vaccine: There are no specific treatments or vaccines available for monkeypox infection.
Prevention: The disease can be prevented by the following approaches;
- Restricting movement of small African mammals and monkeys;
- Reducing risk of infection in people: During outbreaks of monkey pox, reduction of close contact with patients and raising awareness of the risk factors can reduce exposure to the virus.
- Control of infection in healthcare settings: Standard infection control precautions must be practised among healthcare workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed monkeypox infection.
Source: World Health Organisation (www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs161/en/)