PROF. Ebitimitula Etebu, Bayelsa Commissioner for Health, on Monday dispelled the romour that two new cases of monkey pox disease were detected in the state.

Etebu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that the two cases were not fresh but old ones.

According to him, blood samples sent for confirmatory tests at the World Health Organisation reference laboratory in Dakar returned in batches.

“The additional two positive results, though not a new outbreak, will break the total recorded cases in the state to five.

“WHO in September confirmed three cases of monkey pox disease in Bayelsa,” he said.

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The official allayed the fear that the disease was spreading further.

He said that the epidemic had been largely contained following the joint efforts of the state government, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and international public health partners.

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The commissioner said that most of the 21 patients isolated at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Yenagoa, where the index case was reported, had fully recovered and discharged.

On the current number of patients under surveillance at the quarantine centre, Etebu said: “I can tell you that many of the patients being monitored and given care at the isolation centre have been discharged.

“But the situation is dynamic and the number keeps changing; I have not looked at the data for yesterday and may not give you information that is accurate,” he said.

NAN reports that a family of three reportedly ate monkey meat at Agbura area of Yenagoa, Bayelsa, and had suspected cases monkey pox disease on Sept. 12.

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