The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has yesterday warned the federal government that Nigeria is at a high risk of importing the deadly Ebola virus which is currently plaguing Uganda

Driving the news 
NCDC linked the high tendency of Ebola to be imported to Nigeria to the “large volume of air travel between Nigeria and Uganda and the mixing of passengers. And the additional risk from other neighboring countries that share a direct border with Uganda should cases arise in other countries in the region.”

  • The agency also listed precautionary measures in place, including surveillance, the readiness of the response team, availability of medical countermeasures, etc. 

Risks to public health 
Ebola is a deadly virus that is transmitted majorly by close contact with the body fluids of an infected person. The ease of infection is as real as any other virus, such as the coronavirus. The aforementioned cases could have infected as many people as they have come in close contact with in the last few days.

By the numbers 
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been 115 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 32 deaths (case fatality rate: 28%) as of 26th October 2022. These include at least 11 healthcare workers, of which four died. 

  • There are also reports of 20 deaths amongst people who died before a sample could have been taken but who were linked to other confirmed cases.
  • Currently, seven Ugandan districts affected by the Ebola virus include Bunyangabu, Kagadi, Kampala, Kassanda, Kyegegwa, Mubende and Wakiso. 

Looking forward
African countries affected by this virus or that share boundaries with the affected countries need to begin proactive actions such as surveillance programmes, health education, intensive tracing, mass vaccination of vaccines, amongst others. 

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