Nigeria’s Health Ministry has confirmed a novel coronavirus case in Lagos state.
This is the third confirmed case in Africa and the first in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Lagos has a population of over 20 million people and is Nigeria’s economic capital.
“The case which was confirmed on 27/02/2020 is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January 2020,” the Health Ministry said in a post on Twitter.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in a statement also said: “the patient is clinically stable and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba.”
Since its detection in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the novel coronavirus, also called COVID-19, has claimed more than 2,700 lives and has infected over 80,000 people across almost 50 countries.
Nigeria was among thirteen priority countries in Africa identified as being at high risk of getting the virus because of their established links or frequent travel to and from China.
The others are Ghana, Algeria, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
Before the recent cases, African countries were found to be at moderate to high risk of importation of the virus and considered to have a relatively low capacity to manage the health emergency.
Currently, 40 countries in Africa are able to test for the virus.
In recent times, Italy has become Europe’s worst-hit country, with more than 600 cases of the novel coronavirus and 17 deaths.
The novel coronavirus is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before.
Like other coronaviruses, it comes from animals and many of the first cases were of people who either worked or frequently shopped in the Huanan seafood wholesale market in the centre of Wuhan.
The novel coronavirus is airborne and symptoms begin to manifest after 14 days.
A person could transmit the disease before symptoms begin to manifest.
Precautions recommended include regular hand washing, using a hand sanitizer, using a nose mask and avoiding contact or proximity with infected persons.
The fatality rate of the virus has not been officially determined but it is thought to be around 2 percent.
A recent study published in a medical journal revealed that the average age of a coronavirus patient is 55 years old.
Also, 80 percent of those who have died from the disease were aged 60 or above.
A majority of the fatalities had preexisting health conditions.