The Federal Government has described as fake and threatening the report that the outbreak of Monkey Pox in some parts of the country resulted from the alleged free medical care by the government in the affected areas.
In a statement in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, urged Nigerians to disregard the report which, according to him, is being spread by some unscrupulous persons to fit into a sinister agenda.
Alhaji Mohammed explained that the Federal Governmenthad not conducted any free medical service or care in either Bayelsa or Rivers state, as alleged in the report being circulated.
The Minister however gave an assurance that no effort would be spared in curtailing the spread of the disease.
Meanwhile,the epidemic, first detected in Bayelsa state, appears to have spread to the neighbouring AkwaIbom state where one confirmed case has already been recorded and two other suspected cases under investigation.
The latest cases have been confirmed in a statement by the AkwaIbom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Charles Udoh.
According to the statement, the disease which has no known treatment or vaccine exhibits similar symptoms with smallpox, but it is milder, and has larger rashes appearing on the skin.
The statement warns residents to avoid unnecessary handshakes and abstain from eating bush meat. Regular hand washing is also advised.
The first reported case of the Monkey Pox outbreak was in the Fangbe area of Bayelsa State on October 5, where thirteen people were hospitalized and forty-three suspected cases quarantined.