Nigeria CDC: ‘Nigeria is at HIGH risk of importation of the virus’


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The Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has been aware of the ongoing spread of Uganda Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) of the Sudan strain since it was first officially announced on September 20, 2022. As of October 29, 2022, The Ugandan Ministry of Health reported 128 confirmed cases and 34 deaths.

Nigeria map / CIA

The National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, through the National Technical Working Group on Emerging Viral Haemorrhagic Disease, met on 26 September 2022 to assess the risks of importing Ebola virus disease into Nigeria and the potential impact of reporting on preparedness activities within the country. Based on the available data and the risk assessment made, Nigeria is at high risk of importing the virus. This risk is due to the large volume of air travel between Nigeria and Uganda and the mixing of passengers, particularly at the regional travel hubs at airports in Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Kigali, and the additional risk from other neighboring countries that share a direct border with Uganda should cases emerge in other countries in the region.

The outputs of this risk assessment are used to initiate in-country preparedness activities.

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Several measures have been put in place to prevent and mitigate the impact of a potential outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Nigeria.

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• The NCDC Incident Coordination Center (ICC) is now in alert mode.

• An action plan has been initiated for the first Ebola virus disease incidents

• POE monitoring has been increased using the Passenger Advance Health Clearance and Screening Form in the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP) platform.

• Passengers from Uganda and people who have transited through Uganda are being followed up for 21 days after their arrival in Nigeria for their health status.

• Trained rapid response teams are ready to deploy in the event of an outbreak.

• All state Public Health Emergency Operations Centers (PHEOCs) are in alert mode.

• A medical countermeasures plan is available.

• Amplify risk communication and engagement with countries and partners to enhance preparedness activities that include – Review risk communication protocols, plans and messages in the event of an outbreak.

• Nigeria has an effective nationwide Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) program with guidelines and training packages developed for healthcare workers.

Travelers to Nigeria with recent travel history to Uganda:

People who are already in Nigeria but have a recent history of travel to or transit through Uganda in the past 21 days and who are experiencing symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising should immediately call 6232 or the lines Hotspot for the State Department of Health for evaluation and testing. These people should not visit health facilities themselves to avoid further spread through the shared transportation system (public or private). They will be visited at home by assigned responders for assessment and transferred by arranging designated transportation to the designated treatment center when needed. Passengers intending to go to Nigeria with the above symptoms prior to departure should not travel to Nigeria but contact and report immediately to the port health authorities and/or the designated health authorities in the country of departure for testing and care.

Passengers arriving in Nigeria with a recent travel history to or through Uganda asymptomatic upon departure but who have become unwell during transit are required to avoid contact with people and report to the Port Health Services upon arrival at the point of entry into Nigeria.

Travelers with a history of travel to Uganda who did not show any symptoms on arrival must provide accurate information on the NITP platform to ensure follow-up from health workers. If at any time within 21 days of arrival in Nigeria you develop any of the previously mentioned symptoms, please:

Isolate yourself immediately by staying at home.

Avoid contact with others including your immediate family.

Call the NCDC 24/7 toll-free line immediately at 6232 or the state Department of Health (SMOH) emergency number.

Early initiation of supportive therapy has been shown to significantly improve outcomes, including reducing mortality.

Please note that domestic and/or international travel is not recommended until completion of the 21-day follow-up period.

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