By: Igbagboyemi Oladele
Ogun State government has debunked the report credited to Nigeria Center for Disease Control listing the state as one of the states affected by monkey pox.
Addressing the media on the development on Tuesday, the State Commissioner for Health, Babatunde Ipaye said no incident of monkey pox has been recorded in the state.
Expressing surprise at the report, the Commissioner blamed an officer of the state who he described as overzealous by reporting the case to the Federal Ministry of Health without proper examination.
He said the officer, from the state hospital, Ijebu Ode noticed skin lesion from a patient who was at the hospital for another primary reason, adding that the case was not qualified as a suspected case in the first instance.
The Commissioner further explained that the distribution of the rashes on the patient was never suggestive of a monkey pox, adding that no due process was completed before the case was reported
Ipaye said the state is not averse to reporting one or cover up the case but that the state must not also set people panicking by things that do not exist.
His words: "It was very surprising as the State Commissioner for Health and the Chief epidemiologist of the state to hear that Ogun State was listed, We have not incidented any confirmed case of monkey pox in the state, Ogun state doesn't have a single case.
"Yes, there was an overzealous officer of the Ministry who saw somebody with skin lesion in state hospital, Ijebu Ode and unfortunately called the Federal Ministry of Health and incidented suspected case.
"Any patient in the category of that patient that was incidented can not be considered as a suspected case because the patient has another primary problem that can give rise to skin lesion, that is not a suspected case.
"Further questioning was even very revealing that the skin lesion the patient had was not even pathognomonic of monkey pox, it was not suggestive of monkey pox but more of another skin lesion and the screening revealed that, that negates the entire report itself.
"We are not averse to reporting one, if there is a case, and we are not willing to cover up a case but we must also not sent people panicking for things that we do not have.
"We have seen, classically the distribution of rash in monkey pox is that the rashes tends to be more on the face and symbolically at the palm and the sole of the feet, this patient has neither of those and when we did a secondary screening, we discovered that there's even a primary reason why the patient had the rash."
On what the State is doing to prevent the spread of the disease to the state, Ipaye said the government will continue to engage in public awareness.
While urging residents to maintain high level of hygiene, the Commissioner said the state was ready to accommodate any confirmed case in any of its isolation centers.