Nigeria At Moderate Risk Of Marburg Virus – NCDC Projects

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that the country is at moderate risk of an outbreak of the Marburg virus disease.

The commission stated it in a press release published on its website following an outbreak of the disease in Ghana on July 17.

According to the NCDC, there is a need to be on alert due to the proximity of Ghana to Nigeria.

The zoonotic disease was first discovered in 1967 in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany, and Belgrade, Serbia. Since then, some African countries have recorded several cases.

However, the NCDC directed Nigerians to the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja and the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital laboratory Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology to conduct tests on Marburg virus.

According to NCDC Director General, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, “Given the proximity of Ghana to Nigeria as well as the WHO alert, the NCDC-led multisectoral National Emerging Viral Haemorrhagic Diseases Working Group (EVHDWG) that coordinates preparedness efforts for MVD.

“Other emerging viral haemorrhagic diseases has conducted a rapid risk assessment to guide in-country preparedness activities.

“Based on available data, the overall risk of both importation of the disease and its potential impact on the Nigerian population is said to be Moderate as assessed by NCDC experts and partners given the following: the proximity (same region), high traffic from Ghana and countries that share borders with Ghana, the incubation period of 21 days of the virus, heightened surveillance at point of entry, Nigeria’s capacity to respond to the outbreak in the country and the fact that persons with MVD transmit the virus when they become symptomatic unlike for SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 that can also be transmitted by infected persons without symptoms.

“Nigeria has the capacity to test for the virus presently at the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja and the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital laboratory Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology. Diagnostic capacity can be scaled up to other laboratories if required.

“Nigeria has the resources (human, technical, and laboratory) for prompt identification and management in the event of a single imported case.

However, Adetifa notat that the risk of importation may be further reduced. Adding to it that the current situation in Ghana is under control as reported by Ghana Health Service.

He emphasised: “Active case finding is ongoing in Ghana while there is heightened surveillance in Togo and Benin. Therefore, the response situation may change in the coming days with the control efforts in Ghana and advisories as may be issued by the WHO.”

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