Monkey Pox: Lagos Pays Close Watch on Livestock Markets

Monkey pox Livestock makets

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

In order to avert outbreak of monkey pox in the metropolis, the Lagos State government, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), commenced a surveillance tour of livestock and bush meat markets to test animals for components of the disease.

Over the weekend, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, received members of the One Health Team of the National Centre for Disease Control, and noted that the exercise was aimed at preventing the outbreak of monkey pox disease in Lagos.

Mr Lawal explained that the monkey pox disease is a trans-boundary viral disease that is common among people who have contact with wild animals and develop symptoms such as fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes.

“Small pox is also a viral zoonotic disease caused by the monkey pox virus and it occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa; it is mostly transmitted to people from wild animals such as rodents and primates, although human to human transmission also occurs usually by contact with an infected person’s body fluid, lesions, respiratory droplets as well as contaminated materials such as beddings,” he averred.

The Commissioner reiterated the commitment of the state government to ensuring the safety of lives of Lagosians, hence, it would do everything necessary to prevent the emergence of the disease in the state.

He pointed out that officials of the Ministry of Agriculture alongside representatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, National Centre for Disease Control and African Field Epidemiology Network have been deployed to the field to conduct a surveillance of the monkey pox virus in livestock markets across the state.

Mr Lawal added that relevant organ and tissue samples would be collected from these animals under strict biosafety standard protocols, appropriately stored at the required temperature and transported to the laboratory for diagnostic testing.

While noting that the animal component surveillance teams will test the animals for the presence of the monkey pox virus, the Commissioner added that tests would also be conducted for other zoonotic viruses like the Lassa virus in small mammals with strict epidemiology guidance.

He appreciated members of the One Health team of the NCDC, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and AFENET for their unwavering efforts geared towards putting a stop to the outbreak of the disease in the State.

Mr Lawal urged the people not to panic but, however, called for precautionary measures such as maintaining a high level of hygiene and reporting of any suspected monkey pox cases to the appropriate authorities.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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