LAGOS, May 27 (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian government on Friday set up an inter-ministerial committee to prevent the possible spread of the monkeypox disease in the country.
There was no recorded case of monkeypox in Nigeria yet, said Mohammad Abubakar, minister of agriculture and rural development, at a news conference in Abuja, the nation's capital, on Friday.
Abubakar said his ministry, through the department of veterinary and pest control services, is working assiduously in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and agencies to sensitize the public on the monkeypox virus for early containment.
The ministry is also creating awareness among hunting communities and the public, he said.
"In view of the current outbreaks in Europe and the Americas, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development works assiduously in collaboration with relevant sectors and stakeholders to intensify surveillance in the animal population and at the point of entry for wildlife," Abubakar said.
He advised the public to avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus, including animals that are sick or found dead where monkeypox occurs; and avoid contact with any material such as bedding that has been in contact with a sick animal.
The minister urged the public to practice good hand hygiene, such as the washing of hands and the use of alcohol-based sanitizers, after contact with infected animals or humans.
Abubakar said the country's quarantine services and other related agencies are stationed at every entry point of ports and borders to detect, inspect and quarantine anyone with symptoms of the disease.