The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) said it is keeping an eye on two novel subvariants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, EG.5 and BA.2.86.
The health agency said in a statement on Saturday that its COVID-19 Technical Working Group has been monitoring new variations from the local to the global levels.
“Our influenza sentinel surveillance sites continue to provide information on COVID-19 prevalence in patients with influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory illness,” according to a portion of the release.
“In this patient group, we have not seen an increase in the trend of COVID-19.”
Even with low testing numbers, we continue to conduct genomic monitoring and urge testing locations throughout states to guarantee that positive samples are transmitted to the NCDC for sequencing.”Unrelated to the discovery of these developing variations, the NCDC and partners are working on launching an expanded COVID-19 testing effort in four states in order to acquire supplementary and more complete information about the country’s circulating variants. Furthermore, COVID-19 quick diagnostic kits are being supplied in order to improve bi-directional COVID-19 testing.”
The FDA stated that preventive measures will remain the same as previously, including excellent hand hygiene, testing, immunisation, and mask use.
“There is no need to instill undue fear and terror. COVID-19, as we have repeatedly advised, is here to stay and is now primarily a problem for those at high risk—the elderly, those with underlying chronic illnesses, particularly hypertension and diabetes, those on cancer treatment, organ transplant recipients, and those whose immune systems are suppressed for one reason or another,” the statement continued.
China, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, France, Portugal, and Spain have all reported EG.5 subvariants.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) designated EG.5 as a “variant of interest” (VOI) and conducted a risk assessment, concluding that this novel variation poses a minimal risk on a worldwide scale.
The symptoms of EG.5 are similar to those of other COVID-19 variations, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, weariness, muscular pains, headache, and sore throat.
So far, only one case of EG.5 has been reported in Africa; it has not been recognised in Nigeria, according to the NCDC, adding that while BA.2 had previously been found in Nigeria, no BA.2.86 variation has been identified.