Following the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in Guinea, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has urged Nigerians to be alert to symptoms of the infection, noting that they should promptly report suspicious symptoms, including fever and bleeding, in their community.
Speaking during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Monday, the minister said health workers had been put on alert to have a high index of suspicion.
Ehanire said, “Nigeria is closely observing developments on the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Guinea and working with the West African Health Organisation to contain it in the outbreak country of Guinea and prevent the spread to other countries in the region.
“We are pleased to note that the ECOWAS countries adjacent to the epicentre are taking strict measures with regard to checking the movement of persons.
“Our Port Health Service officers are on high alert to step up border surveillance of travellers arriving by air or overland from destinations around the outbreak country to avert disease importation.
“Although Nigeria was classified as a moderate Ebola risk country because of our distance from Guinea, health workers in our hospitals have also been put on alert to have a high index of suspicion.
“The population is hereby requested to report suspicious symptoms, including fever and bleeding in the community, among recent arrivals from the West African subregion.”
The minister advised Nigerians intending to visit countries in the general area, to delay their visit, while WHO carries out support activities, including ring vaccinations.
He, however, said no increase in cases or fatality had been reported so far from Guinea.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control had on Friday placed Nigeria at ‘moderate risk’ of Ebola outbreak as Guinea battles the contagion.
The NCDC disclosed this on its website, stating that the decision was based on the proximity of Guinea to Nigeria and other West African countries, as well as other indicators.
Guinea experienced an outbreak of Ebola on February 14, and cases and deaths were reported in the N’zerekore region of the country.
The cases were detected among seven people who had attended the burial of a nurse on February 1, NCDC said.
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