The Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) is on high alert following the confirmation of two cases of the highly infectious Marburg virus disease in Ghana.
This is the second time this zoonotic disease has been detected in West Africa. Marburg was confirmed in Guinea in August 2021.
Currently, no cases of the Marburg virus have been reported in Nigeria, however, several measures are being put in place to prevent an outbreak in the country including heightened surveillance at point of entry and trained rapid response teams on standby, the NCDC said.
The NCDC says the overall risk of both the importation of the disease and its potential impact on the Nigerian population is said to be moderate given Nigeria’s proximity to Ghana, heightened surveillance at border points and other factors.
Nigeria also has the capacity to test for the Marburg virus presently.
Marburg virus is often transmitted to people from fruit bats and can spread through human-to-human transmission via direct contact. The disease can spread in humans through the bodily fluids of infected people, broken skin, mucous membranes and contaminated fluids.
Nigerians have been urged to adhere to strict measures such as avoiding non-essential travel to areas where an outbreak has been reported as well as avoiding direct contact with saliva, vomit, urine and other bodily fluids with people suspected or confirmed to have the virus.