How monkey pox disease can be averted in Nigeria

As we approach the global hand washing day on Sunday, October 15, 2017; it may be helpful if Nigerians are sensitized on how to avoid contacting the ferocious disease that is gradually ravaging parts of the country.

Monkey pox disease has continued to spread from one state to another in Nigeria; from Bayelsa to Akwa Ibom.

The disease may spread across all the states of Nigeria if adequate control is not put in place.

Nigerian public health educational messages should focus on the following risks:

Close physical contact:

Close physical contact with monkeypox infected people should be avoided.

Gloves and protective equipment:

Gloves and protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill people.

Regular handwashing:

Regular hand washing should be carried out after caring for or visiting sick people.

Thorough cooking:

Efforts to prevent transmission in endemic regions should focus on thoroughly cooking all animal products (blood, meat) before eating.

Handling sick animals:

Gloves and other appropriate protective clothing should be worn while handling sick animals or their infected tissues, and during slaughtering procedures.

Standard infection control precautions:

Health-care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed monkeypox virus infection, or handling specimens from them, should implement standard infection control precautions.

Immunization:

Healthcare workers and those treating or exposed to patients with monkeypox or their samples should consider being immunized against smallpox via their national health authorities.

Small pox vaccines:

Older smallpox vaccines should not be administered to people with comprised immune systems.

Analytical samples:

Samples taken from people and animals with suspected monkeypox virus infection should be handled by trained staff working in suitably equipped laboratories.

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