Fear has gripped the residents of Bayelsa State as a deadly viral epidemic known as “monkeypox” has broken out in the state.
According to the World Health Organisation, monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
“The monkeypox virus can cause a fatal illness in humans and, although it is similar to human smallpox which has been eradicated, it is much milder,” WHO says.
It was authoritatively learnt that a medical doctor and 10 persons who came down with the monkeypox had been quarantined in an isolation centre at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
The isolation centre was reportedly created by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and the epidemiological team of the state’s Ministry of Health to control the spread of the virus.
The NCDC and the epidemiological team were said to be tracking 49 other persons who were said to have come in contact with persons who were already infected.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, confirmed the development, saying that samples of the virus had been sent to the World Health Organisation laboratory in Dakar, Senegal, for confirmation.