The Nigerian Government is considering reactivating isolation centers established after the advent of the COVID-19 virus to prepare against the outbreak of an “unknown deadly flu” reported in China.
The Chinese Government had reportedly confirmed the death of several persons in the country, including three Nigerians.
A memo from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation addressed to the Minister of Health, Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said the “deadly flu” portends danger” for Nigeria.
The memo dated January 16, 2023, was signed on behalf of the SGF by the Permanent Secretary at the OSGF, Aliyu G. Mohammed.
“I am to draw your attention to a report which revealed that the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), on 13th December, 2022 raised concerns over the outbreak of an unknown deadly flu, following the death of some residents which included three (3) Nigerians.
“The initial clinical analysis ruled out COVID-19, but the symptoms of the fatal flu include dry throat, fever, and difficulty in breathing. Hospitals in Guangzhou have been inundated with patients having the disease, with seven as a (7) Nigerians said to be in critical condition result of the flu,” said the SFG.
The SGF, in the earlier memo, said “Considering the potential danger of this outbreak to human beings, there may be need to note the development with a view to emplacing measures to reactivate COVID-19 centres across the country.”
Meanwhile, days after the memo was issued, the NCDC on January 20 reported cases of Diphtheria in Lagos and Kano States, with the Kano State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aminu Tsanyawa, confirming 25 deaths as a result of the disease in the state.
The NCDC describes Diphtheria as “a serious bacterial infection caused by the bacterium called Corynebacterium species that affects the nose, throat and sometimes, skin of an individual” and most likely to infect “children and adults who have not received any or a single dose of the pentavalent vaccine (a diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine), people who live in a crowded environment, people who live in areas with poor sanitation, healthcare workers and others who are exposed to suspected/confirmed cases of diphtheria.”
The mode of transmission of the disease includes direct contact with infected people, droplets from coughing or sneezing, and contact with contaminated clothing and objects.
Members of the public are advised to report suspected cases by calling the NCDC toll-free number via 6232, sending text messages to 08099555577 or contacting the agency via WhatsApp at 07087110839.