Three suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported in Rivers State, a day after neighbouring Bayelsa confirmed an outbreak of the disease.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Professor Chikere Princewill, told journalists on Friday that fluid samples from the suspects have been sent to the laboratory to confirm the virus.
All three cases were discovered in Obio Akpor Local Government of the state – at Rumoulumeni, Eneka, and Psychiatric Road.
One of the suspected infected persons is a 13-year-old who was earlier taken to a traditional medicine man for treatment.
The commissioner advised residents to maintain hygiene standards and report any symptomatic case to the nearest health care centre.
He also announced that the disease control centre and the response team that were used to tackle Ebola and Lassa fever in the state have been re-activated.
The commissioner stressed that although the three cases are suspected to be monkeypox cases, there has been no confirmation of the viral disease in the state yet.
Meanwhile, it emerged earlier today that the number of infected persons in Bayelsa state has risen from 10 to 13.
The State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebimitula Etebu, said the patients were at different stages of recovery following treatment at the makeshift isoloation ward at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri.
He also said that over 50 persons were being actively followed at differently located places in the state, stressing that the situation was not beyond control. He restated the need for people to observe the simple hygiene of washing hands.
The commissioner inaugurated a 12-member rapid response team comprising top medical professionals. Besides the 12 members, which make up the core team, other sub-teams to carry out contact tracing of patients has also been set up.