Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu has said the country is at low risk of having a Marburg virus outbreak.
This is coming after report of Guinea being the first West African country to record a case of highly infectious disease that causes haemorrhagic fever and in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola.
Chikwe in an interview on Channels Television, said the agency is working with the West Africa health organisation and Africa’s Centre for Disease Control to provide the needed support to combat the deadly virus.
“We are very aware and it tells us that we have to always be on our guard here. We set up a risk analysis team yesterday, evaluated the risk for Nigeria. It is low at the moment.
“What we did is to make sure that we have the facilities to detect this if there were to be a suspect case. We are watching out for travel and working with our colleagues in the Port Health Services to look at the travel history of individuals that travel.”
On roles Nigerians could play to avoid the spread of the virus, Chikwe advised on simple preventive measures.
“We need to learn to do the simple things while not losing the beautiful aspect of our culture that mingle us together.
“Right now, if it is our culture to have a big ceremony as a wedding that put together thousands of people into an enclosed space, the fact is that within the context of COVID that will expose you and your guest to significant risk.
“You have to mitigate those risks by limiting the number of people you are inviting, insisting on masks wearing, insist on a certain level of distancing. There is a conflict between our culture at the moment and the threat that we face.”