The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has said that the country is at moderate risk of importing the Marburg Virus Disease into the country, following the first-ever outbreak of the disease in Equatorial Guinea.
According to the agency, the likelihood of importation to Nigeria is high due to the direct flight between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, and the proximity of Equatorial Guinea to Nigeria.
The NCDC, in a press statement signed by its Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, on Friday, noted that the likelihood of spread in Nigeria following importation is high due to the gatherings and travel associated with upcoming national elections.
“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.
"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.
"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."
Marburg virus disease is a highly virulent disease that causes haemorrhagic fever, with a fatality ratio of up to 88 per cent.
It is in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola virus disease.
Illness caused by the Marburg virus begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache, and severe malaise.
Equatorial Guinea on February 13, 2023, confirmed its first-ever outbreak of Marburg virus disease.
The viral infection has also killed nine persons in the country.
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