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27 Feb 2020 | 11:06 PM UTC

Nigeria: First coronavirus case confirmed in Nigeria February 27

Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health confirms the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country on February 27; quarantine measures in effect

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Event

The Federal Ministry of Health announced on Thursday, February 27, that the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Nigeria. According to the Minister of Health, the case was detected in an Italian citizen working in Lagos who had recently returned from a trip to Milan (Italy). The individual is in stable condition and is being treated in isolation at a hospital in Yaba (Lagos state). Health officials are working to identify anyone the patient has come into contact with since entering Nigeria.

As of Thursday, no new control measures have been implemented by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). All travelers arriving from China who develop a fever or cough within 14 days are being asked to avoid all contact with people and immediately inform the NCDC. However, heightened screening measures and other travel restrictions may be ordered over the coming days.

Further international spread of the virus is anticipated over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran, who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.