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‘It’s back!’ NCDC DG warns Nigerians against bushmeat over Monkeypox

Health

‘It’s back!’ NCDC DG warns Nigerians against bushmeat over Monkeypox

Ifedayo Adetifa, director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has advised Nigerians to avoid bushmeat to prevent monkeypox.

The DG, who spoke on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, said though there have been sporadic cases of monkeypox; there is no outbreak.

He said since the emergence of monkeypox in Nigeria in 2017, there has only been 558 cases with eight deaths, adding that only 46 suspected cases have been reported in 2022 with no death.

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Adetifa, however, said Nigerians should interact with animals with care, adding that failure to do so may pose risk to health security of Nigerians.

“I think it’s important that we shun or be careful. I’d prefer to use shun in handling all bushmeat,” he said.

“The greatest risk to health security and health in general we should be careful in handling bushmeat and the likes, even rats.

“It’s part of the problem we have with Lassa Fever, we are not managing our interaction with rats. We are not storing our foods and other things properly to avoid contamination by these animals.

“In case of monkeypox, people interact with bushmeat and other animals and the question about animals is that we know about monkeys, sort of bushmeats are involved as well. So, I think all of them should be handled with care.

“There is no outbreak of monkeypox. The term outbreak is being used wrongly. Yes, we are having cases of monkeypox, just like we have continued to have monkeypox cases since it reemerged in 2017.

“Since 2017 till date, we have had about 558 monkeypox cases with about eight deaths. This year alone, we have had 46 suspected cases reported and about eight cases confirmed with no death.”

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