Reports from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has made it known that no specific treatment is available for monkeypox infection. The disease, which according to the World Health Organisation, WHO, is endemic to West and Central African countries.
The centre has advised Nigerians to take measures in order to avoid contracting the disease, due to non-availability of cure for the infection.
Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, who said the NCDC was doing everything possible to enhance surveillance to mitigate the spread of the disease.
The minister expressed that, “the centre is doing all it takes in terms of surveillance, response and it is also putting in place certain measures to mitigate the spread.”
“Just like we have the Lassa fever, the monkeypox is endemic to Nigeria but we have our agencies like the NCDC when it comes to response and I can assure you that they are totally on it”, he stated.
However, NCDC has given measures that can be taken to prevent infection with monkeypox virus which include, “avoiding contact with animals that could harbour the virus, both sick or dead animals in areas where monkeypox cases have occurred; avoiding contact with any material that has been in contact with a sick animal; thoroughly cooking any animal that might have come into contact with an infected animal; handling them with standard precautions and observing monkeypox symptoms for 30 days and washing with soap and water after contact with infected animals.”
Speaking with newsmen, a virologist at the University of Maiduguri, Marycelin Baba also corroborated NCDC’s claims, calling for caution.
Baba said, “Monkeypox is said to be a mutation from smallpox. There was no treatment for smallpox during its time. The only breakthrough was when the smallpox vaccine was introduced. This means that if you were lucky to get vaccinated with the smallpox vaccine during your time, you can be a bit safe.
“Unfortunately, most people were not born during the time the world suffered from the smallpox pandemic. Smallpox was eradicated many decades ago”, the virologist said.