Fri, Aug

Monkeypox: FG Moves To Stop Spread

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In its bid to stop the spread of the monkeypox virus, the Federal Government (FG) has ordered the immediate suspension of the importation of wild animals, and also warned hunters and dealers of bush meat business to indefinitely suspend business. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar, made this known in a signed statement, urging Nigerians to avoid contact with monkeypox-infected persons.

He said the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development through the Department of Veterinary & Pest Control Services was collaborating with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and relevant stakeholders in the One Health Team, in order to prevent the spread of the Monkeypox virus.

According to the statement, “Operators of zoos, parks, conservation and recreational centers keeping non-human primate (NHP) in their domains must ensure strict compliance with their biosecurity protocols aimed at preventing their contact with humans.

“All veterinary clinics, veterinary teaching hospitals, and other veterinary health institutions across the country must ensure vigilance so as to be able to pick possible signs and symptoms of monkeypox in NHP patients.

“Silos, stores, and other agricultural storage facilities must institute active rodent control measures to prevent contacts and possible contamination of monkeypox virus with foodstuff.

“We must also ensure regular hand washing using strong disinfectant anytime we handle NHP and rodents. We must also discourage consumption, trade, and keeping of NHP as well as rodents as pets in our homes”.

He advised the public to immediately report any pox-like lesions observed on humans or animals to the closest human or veterinary clinics.

The minister also urged veterinary epidemiology officers, field surveillance agents, and veterinarians to “step up their surveillance activities aimed at picking any possible case of monkeypox in animals”.