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No cases of Marburg virus yet in Nigeria, says NCDC

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has allayed the fears of Nigerians that there are currently no cases of Marburg Virus disease in the country just as it has taken proactive measures to mitigate the risk of cross-border importation.

The proactive measures by the NCDC Is coming following the first-ever outbreak of the Marburg virus disease in Equatorial Guinea.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, said based on available data, the overall risk of the Marburg virus and the impact on the health of Nigerians have been assessed as moderate.

Adetifa also advised that persons with recent travels to or through Equatorial Guinea within the past 21 days experiencing symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhoea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain or unexplained bleeding or bruising should not go to any facility but call 6232.

“There are currently no cases of Marburg virus disease in Nigeria, however, the NCDC, relevant Ministries, Departments, Agencies, and partners have taken proactive measures to mitigate the risk of cross-border importation.

“The multi-sectoral National Emerging Viral Haemorrhagic Disease Technical Working Group, led by NCDC, is responsible for coordinating the national response to all VHFs across pillars including surveillance, laboratory, case management, and risk communication.

“The NEVHD TWG like it has always done in the past following news of MVD outbreaks conducted a dynamic risk assessment to inform Nigeria’s preparedness following this recent outbreak in Equatorial Guinea.

“Based on available data, the overall risk of importation of the Marburg virus and the impact on the health of Nigerians has been assessed as MODERATE.

“The risk assessment also shows that Nigeria has the capacity-technical, human (health workforce), and diagnostic – required to respond effectively in the event of an outbreak.

“Nigeria has also responded to viral haemorrhagic fever epidemics like the Ebola Outbreak in 2014 and built up her preparedness and response capabilities over the years,” a statement obtained by Persecondnews on Friday said.

NCDC also stated: “We have the diagnostic capacity to test for MVD presently at the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja and the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital laboratory Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology.

“However, diagnostic capacity will be scaled up to other laboratories in cities with important points of entry and others as may be required.

“An effective response system is in place with the availability of control capacities (trained rapid response teams, and an effective infection prevention and control programme) to limit the risk of spread in the event of a single imported case.

“Persons with recent travel history to or transit through Equatorial Guinea within the past 21 days who experience symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhoea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising should not go to any health facility but call 6232 or their State Ministry of Health hotline immediately for assessment and testing.”

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