The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Ifedayo Adetifa, has advised Nigerians to avoid bush meat as part of measures to prevent monkeypox.
The DG said this on Monday while featuring on a television programme in Lagos.
He warned that Nigerians should interact with animals with care, adding that failure to do so may pose risk to the health and security of Nigerians.
“I think it’s important that we shun or be careful. I’d prefer to use shun in handling all bush meat,” he said.
Adetifa added that these pose a great risk to the health, even rats.
“It’s part of the problem we have with Lassa Fever, we are not managing our interaction with rats. We are not storing our foods and other things properly to avoid contamination by these animals.
“In the case of monkeypox, people interact with bushmeat and other animals and the question about animals is that we know about monkeys, sort of bushmeats are involved as well. So, I think all of them should be handled with care.
The NCDC DG, however, made it known that there is no outbreak of monkeypox.
“The term outbreak is being used wrongly. Yes, we are having cases of monkeypox, just like we have continued to have monkeypox cases since it reemerged in 2017”, he said.
Adetifa explained that from 2017 to date, there have been about 558 monkeypox cases in the country with about eight deaths.
He stated that this year alone, 46 suspected cases have been reported and about eight cases confirmed with no death.