The National Center for Disease Control has warned that Nigerian is at a high risk of importing Ebola from Uganda.
Uganda had declared an outbreak of Ebola after a 24 year old male exhibited symptoms of the disease tested positive and later died.
NCDC in its statement said based on available data, the overall risk of importation of Ebola virus and the impact on the health of Nigerians has been assessed as high.
The agency also stated that the high risk of the virus to Nigeria is high due to the increased air travel between
Nigeria and Uganda especially through Kenya’s Nairobi airports.
The regional transport Hub and other neighboring countries that share a direct border with Uganda.
As of September 29, the Uganda ministry of health has reported 54 cases (35 confirmed and 19 probable) and 25 deaths (seven confirmed and 18 probable).
The NCDC, however, said despite the risk assessment, Nigeria has the capacity to respond effectively in the event of an outbreak.
“We have the diagnostic capacity to test for the EVD presently at the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital’s Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology Laboratory,” the statement reads.
“However, diagnostic capacity will be scaled up to other laboratories in cities with important Points of Entry (POE) and others as may be required.
“Currently, no case of EVD has been reported in Nigeria. Nonetheless, the Nigerian government through NCDC’s multisectoral NEVHD TWG has put several measures in place to prevent and prepare for immediate control of any outbreak of the disease in-country.”
The agency also advised Nigerians to avoid non-essential travel to the areas where the outbreak is currently reported, to avoid coming into contact with blood, saliva, and other bodily fluids of people who had been diagnosed with the virus, and to call 6232 to make sure that anyone exhibiting possible Ebola symptoms was taken right away to a designated medical facility.