- The NCDC has issued a statement over the outbreak of Ebola virus in Guinea
- Chikwe Ihekweazu, the agency's DG, said Nigeria has been placed at 'moderate risk' of the virus outbreak as Guinea is not far away from the country
- The NCDC has also released several preventive measures Nigerians should adopt to avoid contracting the virus
PAY ATTENTION: Join Legit.ng Telegram channel! Never miss important updates
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Thursday, February 18, issued a public health advisory following the declaration of Ebola virus disease outbreak in Guinea.
The Ebola virus outbreak was declared in Guinea on Sunday, February 14. The cases were detected among seven people who attended the burial of a nurse on Monday, February 1.
Considering the proximity of Guinea to Nigeria, the NCDC has placed Nigeria at moderate risk of an Ebola outbreak, according to a statement by the agency's director-general, Chikwe Ihekweazu.
The disease control agency said it has an existing multisectoral National Emerging Viral Haemorrhagic Diseases Working Group (EVHDWG) which is coordinating preparedness efforts for the Ebola virus and other diseases.
Legit.ng gathers that the EVHDWG has carried out a risk assessment on the possibility of transmission of the virus to Nigeria.
The outputs from the risk assessment are being used to initiate preparedness activities in the country.
Preventive measures taken so far
1. A National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) operating from NCDC’s Incident Coordination Centre (ICC) is on alert mode
2. A team of first responders on standby, ready to be deployed within 24 hours in the event of an EVD outbreak in Nigeria.
3. Establishment of testing capacity for Ebola virus at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory
4. The Port Health Services of the Federal Ministry of Health has scaled up screening at points of entry
5. Preparation to scale up risk communications and other activities
6. Preparation to work with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to develop a clear plan for accessing the Ebola virus vaccine stockpile
How Ebola virus is transmitted
According to the NCDC, Ebola virus can be transmitted via direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from it.
The virus can also enter the body stream through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth.
It can also be contracted through contact with objects contaminated by infected persons as well as direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected fruit bats or primates.
How to avoid contracting Ebola virus
1. Wash your hands frequently using soap and water
2. Use hand sanitisers when soap and water are not readily available
3. Avoid direct handling of dead wild animals.
4. Avoid physical contact with anyone who has possible symptoms of an infection with an unknown diagnosis.
5. Ensure fruits and vegetables are properly washed and peeled before you eat them
NAFDAC approves Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Meanwhile, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has approved the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use in Nigeria.
NAFDAC's director-general, Mojisola Adeyeye, made the announcement on Thursday, February 18, President Buhari's new media aide, Bashir Ahmad stated on Twitter.
Legit.ng gathers that Adeyeye also stated that the vaccine can be stored at 2 to 8-degree centigrade.
Nurudeen Lawal is a Legit.ng journalist passionate about fact-checking/verification journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature-in-English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. As Politics Editor, Nurudeen mostly writes on Nigeria’s political and socio-economic developments. He has attended different workshops, conferences and training on fact-checking and digital reporting, among others. Learn more about him on Twitter, @Nurudeen Lawal_