Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has debunked the Marburg Virus Disease outbreak in Nigeria. Responding to reports of the reported existence of the disease at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, the center, on its Twitter handle, said that though no case of the disease had been reported in the country, measures such as heightened surveillance, diagnosis and quick response teams are in place to prevent and counter the epidemic in the country.
Also, the management of the hospital, yesterday, refuted the story. The account, emanating from a memo released by the authorities to heads of departments (HODs), went viral on social media yesterday.
Titled ‘Outbreak of Marburg disease and COVID-19 virus infection’, the memo reads: “The management of Abuja University Teaching Hospital wishes to notify the entire hospital community of an outbreak of Marburg disease and an upsurge in COVID-19 infection.
“Consequently, the attention of all HODs and members of staff is hereby drawn to ensure adequate surveillance and hygiene by observing all protocols of prevention.”
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, Sani Suleiman, informed Newsmen that there was no outbreak of the virus at the medical facility, clarifying that the memo in question emanated from his unit and was addressed to HODs for them to take precautionary measures.
He said: “There is no outbreak of Marburg Virus Disease at the hospital. We have never witnessed that and nobody has reported such. We sent the memo to HODs because we want them to be proactive in taking care of themselves and patients as well as sensitizing staff. But the memo was misunderstood.”
IN a another development, a team of professionals convened by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is renaming monkeypox variants to merge the virus and variations or clades with present best practices. The professionals agreed to name the clades using Roman numerals.
The global health agency, in a press release, renamed two families or clades of the bug, using Roman numerals instead of geographic areas, to avoid stigmatization.
Also, the version of the infection previously known as Congo Basin is now addressed as Clade I while the West Africa variant becomes Clade II.
WHO emphasized that current best practice requires that newly-identified viruses, related disease and variants should be named so as to avoid offending cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups and reduce any negative impact on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare.
The organisation noted that it is holding an open forum to rename monkeypox after some critics raised concerns that the name could be considered discriminatory and stigmatizing.
It disclosed that the decision was taken after a meeting with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
WHO added that the new clades will take effect immediately while a new name for the disease would be decided, stating that anyone who wishes to submit a name suggestion could do so on their websites.