Written by Williams ABAH

Nigeria on red alert for new coronavirus outbreak in China -NCDC

Nigeria has gone on alert for the new coronavirus after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has issued a health advisory detailing five ways individuals can reduce their risk of contracting the new virus that has emerged in China.

The Director of Nigeria Centre for Disease control, NCDC, Chike Ihekwazu stated that efforts should made by everybody to exhibit good hygiene in the wake of the disease.

He added that people should ensure their hands are regularly clean and constantly wash them with soap under running water.

Ihekwazu said that people should cover their mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing or coughing.

NCDC boss also said that people should not make a close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

He also advised that anybody with such suspecting symptoms should avoid self-medication, rather report to the nearest health facility.

In his words, "when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, healthcare workers are always available, they are trained, and have the knowledge to carry out a standard infection prevention and control measures when attending to patients and take a travel history" he said

According to him, more information is still emerging about this new virus, and NCDC will continue to update the advisory as research uncovers its impact on populations.

It was gathered that coronaviruses are zoonotic viruses already in existence and transmitted between animals and humans. But the new one named 2019nCov is a strain that has been found in humans for the first time.

It was also learnt that the first case was confirmed on January 7, among patients said to have either visited or worked in the Huanan Seafood wholesale market in China’s Wuhan city.

Following the outbreak, the initial cases were thought to have contacted the virus through animal-to-human transmission from the market, but human-to-human transmission has also been established.

Report has it that more cases are expected to be reported in coming weeks. As at the 21st of January, five cases have been confirmed in four other countries; Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United States of America, all with a travel history to China.

The World Health Organisation WHO has also convened its Emergency Committee on Wednesday to determine whether this outbreak should be declared a “Public Health Event of International Concern”

In view of this, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, is coordinating a multi-sector technical group to assess and manage the risk of 2019nCoV being imported into Nigeria.

 

The Port Health Services unit of the federal ministry of health in Nigeria has been placed on alert and has heightened screening measures at the points of entry.

According to report, there is no specific treatment for illness caused by the novel coronavirus yet, but many of the symptoms can be treated.

 

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