The Akwa lbom State Ministry of Health, has initiated measures to contend the outbreak of monkey pox in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, while briefing newsmen in Uyo, weekend, confirmed the outbreak of the deadly disease in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of the state.

Ukpong revealed that as at the time of conference, the state had recorded eleven suspected cases in Ikot Akpaden, Ikot Enin and Ndon, all in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area.

The Commissioner noted that while 6 people tested negative, one tested positive, while five results were still being awaited.

He however disclosed that the Health Ministry, through its public health department had activated its infectious control procedure to contend the epidemic.

“Since the outbreak, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health through its Public Health Department has activated its infectious control procedure to control the epidemic and successfully confined it to the affected local government so far.
The Epidemiological unit of the state public health moved immediately to test and contain the infection”, he said.

While giving more insight into the epidemic, Dr Ukpong said the disease has animals such as rodents, rats and squirrels, as contact sources, noting that the virus can also spread both from animal to human and from human to human, with transmission occurring when a person comes in contact with the virus from the infected animal, human or materials contaminated with the virus such as bedclothes.

He further said the virus enters the body through broken skin, respiratory tracts, eye membranes, nose or mouth and sighted symptoms to include fever, swelling of groins, back pains, muscle ache, low immunity and lack of energy.

He advised the public to avoid close contact with animals that could harbor the virus, including sick or dead animals in areas where monkey pox cases have occurred and advocated for proper
Hand washing with soap and water after contact with infected animals.

He said urged the public to report suspected cases to the Ministry and announced 08037934966, 08028442194, 09023330092, as emergency phone lines.