Health authorities in Nigeria have warned the public against eating monkeys and bushmeat after 10 people contracted suspected monkeypox in the southern Bayelsa State, Nigeria newspapers are reporting.
According to a BBC report, Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, said in a statement that investigations into the outbreak was still ongoing.
He added that despite no known cure for the disease there was no cause for alarm because the virus was mild.
However, he advised the public to take preventative measures:
“The virus was mild and there was no known treatment and no preventive vaccines hence the public should be at alert and avoid crowded places as much as possible.”
Mr Adewole said that medical samples had been sent to the World Health Organization centre in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, for further tests.
He said the disease was a viral illness by a group of viruses that included chickenpox and smallpox.
Monkeypox is a rare but usually not fatal to humans.
A health official in Bayelsa was quoted as saying that the virus could be found in monkeys and all bush animals such as rats, squirrels and antelopes.