He said the outbreak should be treated as a national emergency that must be diligently fought to avoid tragedy.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has urged the Federal Government to treat the discovery of the monkeypox disease as seriously as it handled the deadly ebola.
Residents of Bayelsa state are currently living in fear of the new deadly epidemic with about 11 people, including a medical doctor, said to be infected with the virus.
According to Atiku, the outbreak should be treated as a national emergency that must be diligently fought to avoid tragedy.
Taking to his Twitter account (@atiku) early on Friday, October 6, 2017, he posted “The discovery of monkeypox in Bayelsa is alarming and should be seen as a national emergency, to halt its spread.
“I’m urging the FG, Bayelsa State government, and response agencies to cooperate to enlighten citizens, and fight the outbreak.
“We all share a responsibility to share correct information on the monkeypox disease. Just like we fought Ebola, we will fight this and win.”
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the epidemiological team are tracking about 49 other people who were said to have come in contact with the victims who have been quarantined in an isolation center at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri in Yenagoa.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, said samples of the virus have been sent to the World Health Organisation (WHO) laboratory in Dakar, Senegal for confirmation.
Monkeypox is a viral illness caused by a group of viruses that include chicken pox and small pox, with symptoms like severe headache, fever, back pains among others.
The most worrisome symptom is the presence of rashes, bigger than those caused by chicken pox, usually spreading across the whole body of an infected person.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has asked anyone showing symptoms to promptly report to a medical facility to stop the spread of the disease.
“Anyone with symptoms of monkey pox should immediately report to the nearest health facility, while health workers are advised to maintain a high index of suspicion and observe safety percussion,” he said.