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Healthcare Agency DG, Ekpenyong, Debunks Reports on Monkey Pox Outbreak in Cross River 


By Magnus Effiong
Social media report on a purported  outbreak of the dreaded monkey pox in Cross River State is false, the Director General of the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong, has said.

Ekpenyong who said this in Calabar, Monday, during a telephone chat with reporters maintained that there is no active case of monkey pox disease in the State.

“Cross River State has always been a state with proactive approaches to outbreak responses. From the onset, we try to activate immediate search and border control measures as it can be traced as far as the poliomyelitis control, covid-19, lassa fever etc where almost all of our neigbouring states recorded substantial number of cases. And, that will continue to be our approach to safeguard our people.

“As of today May 16th 2022, there’s no active case of monkey pox in Cross River State. We have tried every avenue to ensure that the state manages every symptoms of monkey pox especially in those local government areas where we have recorded cases in the last few months.

“We have intensified surveillance  as we actively search for people who visit our health facilities with similar symptoms and those reported by their relatives.
“We only had two cases in February which were well managed by the state government. We also traced those they had one on one contact with so that we could be assured of a pandemic free state.

“Not withstanding,we won’t relent in our efforts to prevent the spread of the disease since we are aware of how transmittable it could be with a lot of people coming into Cross River from states where there are active cases even in the month of May.

“We are working with our partners like the World Health Organization,  UNICEF and others which have always supported us in surveillance activities, periodic training of our health workers on how to identify and differentiate phenomenal symptoms of these prevalent diseases as we don’t limit our focus to monkey pox alone.

“We are also aware of the purported predicted cholerae outbreak in the state especially this raining season. We are relying on our health promotion unit, the social mobilization team, the media and other relevant stakeholders to  enhance sensitization so that people will adopt preventive measures and approaches to prevent it.

“I urge us to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene in order to assist Government in Fighting these diseases as I encourage us all to report any suspected cases to the health Facility closest to them for rapid response, investigation and possible management,” she stated.

The DG said Monkeypox is caused by bites from animals or direct contacts with rodents like rats, rabbits or contaminated foodstuffs from these animals and it’s easily transmittable from human to human. 

According to her, warly symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, a general feeling of discomfort, and exhaustion.
“Later symptoms occur one to three days or more after the appearance of fever, and it includes a rash with raised bumps, often first developing on the face,” she stated.


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