Health care personnel in Plateau State have been urged by the State government, to watch out for signs and symptoms of the monkeypox viral disease.
According to the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kamshak Kudeng, although the government cannot completely compel people to stop consumption of monkeys, it should be cooked properly because at certain temperatures the virus might not survive.
The measures, he said, were to curtail and check the spread of monkeypox, which was first reported in Bayelsa State, South-South Nigeria over a week ago.
“What we do in the Plateau State Ministry of Health is to ensure that we enlighten members of the public to ensure that if anyone comes down with fever, body ache, muscle pains and later on you start developing rashes, you should be able to report early to the hospital.
“When you come to the hospital, we embark on a symptomatic management because we don’t have particular drugs for it,” Kudeng said.
The commissioner, in an interview with Saturday PUNCH in Jos, gave a brief history of the disease in West Africa.
He said, “The viral disease is not new and has been in West and Central Africa, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo. The first case in humans was detected in 1970. But the disease was actually found in laboratory monkeys in 1958.”
Kudeng confirmed that Plateau indigenes eat monkeys but said he could not give the percentage of consumers.
He said, “There are local hunters who look for monkeys to eat. In fact, there are some tribes on the Plateau that eat monkeys as delicacies, just like when we were talking about Lassa fever and we wanted to single out the Tiv people in Benue State, who eat rats.
“We cannot stop people from completely eating monkeys because when you tell them that it is a risk, they say, ‘man must die of one thing or the other.’”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )