Five cases of monkeypox in Bayelsa State have been confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), Bayelsa State Commissioner of Health, Ebitimitula Etebu, announced on Monday.
Mr. Etebu stressed that two of the cases confirmed by the WHO were not fresh cases, but older cases that had been unconfirmed. He allayed fears that the virus is spreading.
According to him, the blood samples sent for confirmatory tests at the WHO reference laboratory in Dakar, Senegal returned in batches.
The WHO had earlier confirmed three cases, so the additional two cases bring the total to five in Bayelsa State.
Mr. Etebu said that the epidemic has been largely contained following the joint efforts of the state government, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other international public health partners.
He said that most of the 21 patients isolated at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, in Yenagoa, where the index case was reported, have fully recovered and have been discharged.
On the current number of patients under surveillance at the quarantine center, Mr. Etebu said, “I can tell you that so many of the patients being monitored and receiving care at the isolation center have been discharged.”
“But the situation is dynamic and the number keeps changing. I have not looked at the data for yesterday and do not want to give you information that is inaccurate,” he said.
It would be recalled that a family ate monkey meat in Agbura area of Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State and later manifested symptoms of monkeypox on September 12, 2017.