Anambra State Government on Thursday confirmed the first case of monkey pox out of the two suspected cases reported in parts of the state.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike disclosed this at a news conference in Awka, saying the state had been on alert mode following the report of the disease earlier this year across some states in the country.
Dr Obidike revealed that few weeks ago, two suspected cases of monkey pox were reported in Anambra East, Onitsha North and Oyi Local Government Areas, out of which the case from Anambra East was confirmed positive.
According to him, the state emergency preparedness and response team put all the relevant surveillance measures in place toward ending the spread of the outbreak.
“Few weeks ago, two suspected cases of monkey pox were reported in Anambra East, Onitsha and Oyi Local Government Areas (LGAs), out of which the case from Anambra East LGA was confirmed positive.
“The case is currently at the isolation centre of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, where he is receiving treatment and recovering.
“In light of the above, Gov. Charles Soludo immediately declared the incident an outbreak and an emergency preparedness and response committee meeting was convened on Wednesday.
“The meeting was attended by relevant stakeholders including the World Health Organisation (WHO) team and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
“They are providing necessary assistance to the state.
“Planning for immediate response to the outbreak and surveillance, laboratory, case management, risk communication and community engagement, infection prevention and control and safe burial pillars, were activated,” he said.
Mr Obidike said the state government had commenced the training of health personnel and response officers on enhanced active case search, sample collections and monkey pox management as well as intensify public awareness.
He urged residents not to panic but to report to the hospital for proper examination whenever they notice rashes on their skin.
“Once it is established at the hospital, the patient will be taken to our isolation centres for treatment.
“We have activated all our Isolation centres in the state,” he said
On his part, Dr Adamu Abdulnasir who is Anambra state World Health Organization, WHO Coordinator, said the organisation would support the state in terms of outbreak response and surveillance and capacity building.
“Since we heard about the two suspected cases, WHO has supported in the areas of sample collection and taking the sample to the laboratory.
“When the results came out, we carried out contact tracing as well as case and risk management.
“In Nigeria so far, we have recorded 41 cases of monkey pox with one death.
“The government is taking proactive measures to bring this outbreak to a stop and sensitise people on how to prevent and protect themselves,” he said.
Monkey pox is an uncommon disease caused by infection with the monkey pox virus, which belongs to the orthopoxvirus genus in the poxviridae family.