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The dreaded monkey pox virus has continued to spread in Delta State with the state government now confirming SIX case of the virus.  As of last Wednesday, there was only one confirmed case and five suspected.  The five suspected have come back "positive."

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, made this known during the debriefing session from officials of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

NCDC officials have been in the Delta state of Nigeria since October 27 to get first hand information from communities where there are suspected monkey pox cases in a bid to provide technical assistance on the disease.

Dr. Azinge listed Aniocha South, Ethiope East, Ika North East, Ndokwa East and Sapele local government areas as the localities where the five suspected cases were initially detected, adding that the cases are being handled by experts.

Monkeypox virus causes the disease in both humans and animals. It was first identified in 1958 as a pathogen of crab-eating macaque monkeys being used as laboratory animals. The crab-eating macaque is often used for neurological experiments.  The virus is found mainly in tropical rainforest regions of central and West Africa.

The virus was first discovered in monkeys (hence the name) in 1958, and in humans in 1970. Between 1970 and 1986, over 400 cases in humans were reported. Small viral outbreaks with a death rate in the range of 10% and a secondary human to human infection rate of about the same amount occur routinely in equatorial Central and West Africa.

The primary route of infection is thought to be contact with the infected animals or their bodily fluids. The first reported outbreak in the United States occurred in 2003 in the midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, with one occurrence in New Jersey. The outbreak was traced to a prairie dogs infected from an imported Gambian pouch rat. No deaths occurred.

The virus can spread both from animal to human and from human to human. Infection from animal to human can occur via an animal bite or by direct contact with an infected animal’s bodily fluids. The virus can spread from human to human by both respiratory (airborne) contact and contact with infected person's bodily fluids.

Risk factors for transmission include sharing a bed, room, or using the same utensils as an infected patient. Increased transmission risk associated with factors involving introduction of virus to the oral mucosa.

Incubation period is 10–14 days. Symptoms include swelling of lymphnodes, muscle pain, headache, fever, prior to the emergence of the rash. The rash is usually only present on the trunk (torso) but has the capacity to spread to the palms and soles of the feet, occurring in a centrifugal distribution.


This disease is just one infected person away from the USA via airplane . . . 



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