Following the Marburg virus disease (MVD) detection and flare-up in Ghana (West Africa), the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) has reportedly announced a disease epidemic emergency in Nigeria.
In light of the incidence, the NCDC stated it had increased surveillance at the border as well as other entry points to the country while adding that the disease’s spread would have a moderate impact on the people in Nigeria.
The government agency stated that taking Ghana’s proximity to Nigeria and the WHO warning into account, NCDC has established a multi-sectoral National Emerging Viral Hemorrhagic Diseases Working Group, which will coordinate efforts for Marburg virus and other such diseases.
Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, Director General of NCDC, stated that a rapid risk assessment was being carried out to plan in-country preparedness activities.
In its statement, the NCDC stated that given certain factors, such as the proximity of the two countries, the traffic from Ghana and its neighboring countries, the 21-day incubation period of the virus, increased surveillance at entry points, and Nigeria’s response to the outbreak, ensure that the effect will be moderate.
It added that the MVD virus can be transmitted only when the person becomes symptomatic, unlike the case of Covid-19 where the virus can be transmitted from an infected asymptomatic person.
This will be the second time that MVD has been detected in West Africa, with the first having been in 2021 in Guinea.
The agency further assured that the country is well-equipped to test for the virus at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology and the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja. The country’s diagnostic capacity can be expanded further to other labs if needed.
The agency has also put in place various measures to prevent an in-country disease outbreak. These include prompt admission of persons with symptoms into healthcare institutions and initiate supportive treatment.
Other health advisories have also been issued for suspected patients and survivors of MVD.