…As Kano confirms 4 cases of Lassa fever, with 3 deaths***
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has assured that the Nigeria Port Health Services is now battle ready at all points of entry, to checkmate the spread of coronavirus into the country.
Nigeria is currently at war with Lassa fever, even as Kano State Government confirms four cases of Lassa fever, with three persons dead and one quarantined.
The Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) was first identified by Chinese researchers with the pathogen behind a mysterious illness that had sickened 59 people in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in central China.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Chief Executive Officer of NCDC said on his tweeter handle — @Chikwe_I, that the centre was aware of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China.
“The boundaries we hold dear are not respected by infectious diseases.
“The recent emergency of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China and its spread to other countries within weeks reminds us of the threat infectious diseases pose to all countries.
“Though the risk of spread to Nigeria is moderate according to WHO, we remain at alert and continue to strengthen preparedness,” he tweeted.
In addition, he commended the pace at which China generated the genetic sequence of the virus and made the information available to the global health community.
He also tweeted that “this is a step in the right direction, which will further understanding of virus and define response activities.
“We are carrying out regular risk assessment and reviewing our level of preparedness in the event of coronavirus outbreak.
“Our emergency preparedness team holds daily epidemic intelligence review meeting to guide response activities.
“We continue to build strong systems.
“We are working closely with colleagues in the Department of Port Health Services to strengthen surveillance at various points of entry, especially from China.
“The advice to travellers from China is to report to port health officers or NCDC, if they feel ill.”
Meanwhile, the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is expected to convene an Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) under the International Health Regulations on Wednesday.
The meeting is to ascertain whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, and what recommendations should be made to manage it.
In the meantime, Kano State Government has confirmed four cases of Lassa fever, with three persons dead and one quarantined.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Ibrahim Tsanyawa made the confirmation on Wednesday at an emergency press conference in Kano.
Tsanyawa said the ministry on Tuesday received information from its Health Educator in Tarauni Local Government, about the suspected cases of the disease at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH).
He explained that blood samples of the victims sent to Abuja for investigation turned out positive.
“A pregnant woman, who had a caesarian session (CS) at AKTH in December, was said to be a carrier of the disease and had died.
“Subsequent to that, one of the doctors and a health worker that carried out the CS on the woman also died, while another doctor is under care at the Isolation Centre at Yar gaya area of Kano.
“The Consultant who took charge of the pregnant woman when she was moved to the Intensive Care Unit of AKTH has also died of the same symptoms,” he said.
In order to control the situation, the Commissioner said, the ministry has reactivated the state isolation centre as well as the state Rapid Response Team, in addition to the repositioning of drugs and consumables to prevent outbreak of the disease.
Tsanyawa further revealed that, there would be daily coordination of meetings at the State’s Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), to keep all stakeholders updated about the situation.
The commissioner called on residents and health workers in the state not to panic, as the state has taken control of the situation.
He urged the media to cooperate with the ministry in order to obtain and disseminate factual information on the situation, to prevent spreading rumours.