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Nigeria Denies Injecting Monkeypox Virus Through Free Medical Treatment

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement in Abuja, said Nigerians should disregard the report which, the federal government said was apparently being spread by some unscrupulous persons to fit into a sinister agenda.

He said: ”The Federal Government has not conducted any free medical service or care in either Bayelsa or Rivers state, as alleged in the fake report being circulated. So that could not have been the cause of the outbreak of Monkey Pox in both states.

“Monkey Pox is a virus found only in monkeys and it is rare in human beings. It belongs to the same family as Chicken Pox and Smallpox.

”It is suspected that someone may have contacted it by eating monkey meat, thus triggering the current outbreak.”

He assured Nigerians that no effort would be spared in curtailing the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has denied rumours that the disease had spread to other parts of the country.

Speaking in Jos, the Plateau State capital, the minister said although the government picked some suspected cases in Rivers State, the one in Bayelsa State had not been confirmed because the results of the sample sent to the laboratory in Senegal had not been released.

Adewole said, “There is no spread; we picked some suspected cases in Rivers State; even the one in Bayelsa State has not been confirmed, we are waiting for the results. It is tentative and there is no point spreading false rumour. In fact, there is a fake message circulating that it is because we are doing free medical screening that is why the disease came out.

“I am not aware of any free medical screening in Bayelsa, Rivers or even the South-East. No, and I wonder the motive. I don’t  even know the persons behind it. They just said, ‘beware of free medical screening oo. It is to reduce population in the South-East; that is what has caused problem in Bayelsa and Rivers states.’ I got that text message.”

Also, there are suggestions that severe flooding induced by the heavy rains this year may have triggered the current outbreak of the MonkeyPox viral disease in parts of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

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It was gathered that different species of animals usually found in the bushes, which were displaced by the floods from their natural habitats found their way to people’s homes, especially around the outskirts of the city centre, where the incidence of the ailment was first reported last week.

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