Nigerian health authorities have warned against the consumption of bush meat, particularly monkey meat after 10 people contracted suspected Monkey Pox disease in the southern Bayelsa State.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole in a statement said that investigations were going on to ascertain the cause of the outbreak.
He urged the public to be alert as there was no known treatment for the disease.
Adewole also said that test samples had been sent to the World Health Organization laboratory in Senegal, and that the ministry would be able to give advice after the results return.
Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis—a disease that is primarily transmitted from animals to humans—that was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Symptoms of the disease include headache, fever, back pains and in advanced cases, rashes bigger than those caused by chicken pox.
It is a rare disease, and usually not fatal to humans.
Health official in Bayelsa said that the virus could be found in monkeys and all bush animals such as rats, squirrels and antelopes.
The authorities said they had begun an “aggressive public enlightenment campaign” to make people aware of how to avoid catching the virus.