NCDC Confirms No New COVID-19 Variants Found in Nigeria

The NCDC is actively monitoring the new sub-variants of the Omicron variant, EG.5 and BA.2.86, and confirms that they have not been detected in Nigeria , it means No New COVID-19 Variants Found in Nigeria .

In a recent update, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) announced that it is actively monitoring the new sub-variants of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, specifically EG.5 and BA.2.86.

However, the good news is that these new sub-variants have not been detected in Nigeria as of yet.

A Proactive Response by NCDC

In a press release signed by the Director General, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, the NCDC elaborated on the ongoing efforts to track the prevalence of COVID-19 in patients exhibiting influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory illness.

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According to the release:

“Our influenza sentinel surveillance sites continue to provide information on COVID-19 prevalence in patients with influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory illness.

We have not observed any increase in the trend of COVID-19 in this patient group.

We continue to carry out genomics surveillance even with the low testing levels and encourage testing locations in states to ensure their positive samples are sent on to the NCDC for sequencing.”

Enhanced COVID-19 Testing Exercise

Apart from monitoring the emerging variants, the NCDC and its partners are also implementing an enhanced COVID-19 testing exercise in four states.

This initiative aims to gather more detailed information about the circulating variants in the country.

Additionally, COVID-19 rapid diagnostic kits are being distributed to improve bi-directional COVID-19 testing.

Avoiding Unnecessary Panic

The NCDC has advised that there is no need for unnecessary anxiety and panic. As stated in the press release:

“There is no need to cause unnecessary anxiety and panic. As we have consistently advised, COVID-19 is here to stay and is now mainly a problem for those at high risk – the elderly, those with underlying chronic illnesses, especially hypertension and diabetes, those on cancer treatment, organ transplant recipients, and those whose immune systems are suppressed for one reason or the other.”

Global Spread of the New Variant

As of August 9, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified EG.5, a descendant lineage of XBB.1.9.2, and its sub-lineages as a variant of interest.

This sub-lineage of the Omicron variant has been identified in 51 countries, including major ones like China, the United States, Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, the UK, France, Portugal, and Spain.

Symptoms of EG.5 Variant

The symptoms of the EG.5 variant are similar to those observed with other COVID-19 variants.

These include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, and sore throat.

WHO’s Risk Assessment

According to the WHO’s risk assessment, the EG.5 variant poses a low global risk.

Only one case of EG.5 has been reported in Africa, and it has not been identified in Nigeria.

The NCDC added that although the BA.2 variant has been previously detected in Nigeria, the BA.2.86 variant has not been identified in the country.

The NCDC is actively monitoring the situation and implementing enhanced testing exercises to gather more detailed information about the circulating variants.

While the new EG.5 variant is spreading globally, it has not been detected in Nigeria, and the WHO assesses it as a low global risk.

It is crucial to continue following safety guidelines and get vaccinated to protect ourselves and our communities.

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FAQs

What is the EG.5 variant?

The EG.5 variant is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It has been classified as a variant of interest by the WHO.

Has the EG.5 variant been detected in Nigeria?

The symptoms of the EG.5 variant include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, and sore throat.

What is the global risk associated with the EG.5 variant?

According to the WHO’s risk assessment, the EG.5 variant poses a low global risk.

What is the NCDC doing to monitor the situation?

The NCDC is actively monitoring the situation through its influenza sentinel surveillance sites and is implementing an enhanced COVID-19 testing exercise in four states to gather more detailed information about the circulating variants.


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