NCDC Activates A Reaction Team For The Marburg virus, Stating That Nigeria Is At Intermediate Risk
Haemorrhagic fever is brought on by the extremely hazardous disease known as Marburg, which was initially discovered in Germany in 1967 and recently confirmed in Guinea.
In epidemics in the past, the average fatality rate was 50%, with a range of 24-8%. The virus is a member of the same family as the Ebola virus, known as the filoviruses.
Its name comes from the German city of Marburg, where researchers initially discovered it after coming into touch with diseased green monkeys who were brought into the country from Uganda
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a Marburg virus disease (MVD) epidemic in Ghana on July 17, 2022, and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) is aware of this.
Following the first occurrence in Guinea in August 2021, this zoonotic disease has now been found twice in West Africa.Two male, 26 and 51, who were not related, were reported to have the condition and died from it.
While stating that there is a modest risk of importation, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has increased surveillance at the country’s entrance gateways to stop an outbreak of the fatal Marburg virus disease (MVD).
Although no cases of the disease have been reported in the nation, it asked medical professionals to exercise a high degree of caution and take the usual safety procedures, noting that its Incident Coordination Centre (ICC) is already operating on alert mode.
Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, the director general of the NCDC, stated that there is no cure or vaccine for MVD in his statement made yesterday in Abuja.
However, supportive care and the treatment of certain symptoms may be beneficial to those who are infected and increase their chances of survival.
He guaranteed that Nigeria has the ability to test for the virus at the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital Laboratory Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology and the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja.
The multi-sectoral National Emerging Viral Haemorrhagic Diseases Working Group (EVHDWG), which coordinates preparedness for MVD and other emerging viral hemorrhagic diseases, has conducted a rapid risk assessment to direct in-country vigilance, according to Adetifa. This is because Ghana is close to Nigeria and because the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued an alert.
Based on the information at hand, he claimed that there is a moderate possibility of the disease being imported overall and that Nigerians could be affected.
This came after analysis by NCDC experts and partners, who took into account factors like proximity (same region), high traffic from Ghana and nations that share Ghana’s border, the virus’ incubation period of 21 days, increased surveillance at the point of entry.
Nigeria’s capacity to handle the outbreak domestically, and the fact that people with MVD only transmit the virus when they start to show symptoms, as opposed to SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19), which can spread without symptoms.
He noted that Nigeria has the resources (people, technical, and laboratory) for quick detection and management, in the event of a single imported case, and indicated that diagnostic capacity could be ramped up to additional laboratories if necessary.
He stated that while the NCDC is still working with states and partners to improve readiness, it is also stepping up its efforts to communicate risks.
The head of NCDC recommended Nigerians to avoid unnecessary travel to areas where the outbreak has been detected and to avoid coming into direct contact with blood, saliva, vomit, urine, and other bodily fluids of those who have Marburg virus disease, whether it is suspected or confirmed.
While planning a statewide assessment on the effects of immunization on dissemination and fatality, the NCDC confirmed circulation of the COVID-19 Omicron strain in Nigeria.
Adetifa stated to The Guardian yesterday, “Omicron version has always been with us, from the very first one to the present. Our under-immunization is the issue we face.The vaccinations are not being widely used.
“Yes, I am aware that some immunizations may have a diminished effect after six months, but more individuals need to volunteer for vaccinations.
Any COVID-19 variant’s dissemination and mortality rate will be lowered by complete vaccination.
We have received communications from Global Funds to carry out a statewide study on the effect of COVID-19 immunization on the spread and lethality of the disease,” he continued.
The Omicron controversy and potential vaccination side effects will be addressed in the study..
The following precautions are strongly advised for Nigerians to follow:
• For the time being, refrain from non-essential travel to areas where the outbreak is reported.
• Refrain from coming into contact with anyone who has the Marburg virus, whether they have the disease or not. This includes their blood, saliva, vomit, urine, and other bodily fluids.
• Keep away from sick animals and fruit bats, which are animal reservoirs.
• Ensure that everyone exhibiting the aforementioned symptoms is transported as soon as possible to a medical facility for a diagnosis and the start of supportive treatment.
• Direct physical contact should be avoided in cases of suspected or proven MVD by enforcing rigorous isolation, using protective gowns, masks, and gloves, and disposing of needles, bedding, and other contaminated materials stuffs.
• Strict adherence to infection prevention and control procedures for all patients who may be at risk in the healthcare system.
• Male Marburg virus disease survivors should use safer sexual practices and maintain better personal cleanliness for 12 months following the onset of symptoms or until their semen tests negative for the virus twice.
The responsibility for coordinating the nation’s emergency preparedness, detection, and response falls to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), the nation’s main public health organization
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the bill into law in November 2018 to create the NCDC. “To protect the health of Nigerians via evidence-based preventive, integrated disease surveillance and response, using a One Health strategy, guided by research and led by competent workforce,” is the NCDC’s stated objective
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