FG: We have case of Dengue fever, not Ebola virus

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ruby Leo

Min­is­ter of State for Health Dr. Khaliru Al­has­san yes­ter­day said the re­ported case of a lady dy­ing of the Ebola virus was ac­tu­ally of Dengue hem­or­rhage fever.

The 15-year-old lady had died at the Ir­rua teach­ing Hospi­tal, Edo state last week af­ter she was re­ferred there by the Gwag­wal­ada Teach­ing Hospi­tal, Abuja fol­low­ing ag­gra­vated symp­toms, Daily Trust learnt.

Ad­dress­ing jour­nal­ists in Abuja, the min­is­ter in­sisted that Nigeria had not wit­nessed any case of Ebola and would re­main so as sev­eral mech­a­nisms have been put in place to stop any cross bor­der trans­mis­sion.

Al­has­san ex­plained that the mis­con­cep­tion on the type of dis­ease might have risen be­cause of some sim­i­lar­i­ties in symp­toms the two dis­eases share adding that so far only three coun­tries in the West African re­gion namely Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have re­ported cases of Ebola.

“Denger fever is caused by a virus named Dengue Fever Virus (DFV). It is trans­mit­ted by mos­qui­toes, mostly in ur­ban and semi­ur­ban ar­eas,” he said.

“The ac­tiv­i­ties of the mos­qui­toes (Aedes al­bopic­tus) that trans­mit this virus are be­ing closely mon­i­tored na­tion­wide by the Ar­bovirus Re­search Cen­tre of the Federal Min­istry of Health based in Enugu.”

The symp­toms of the dis­ease, he added, in­clude “headache, fever, ex­haus­tion, se­vere mus­cle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and rashes.”

Al­has­san said “at the out­set of the dis­ease, it mim­ics malaria and of­ten so, it is mis­tak­enly di­ag­nosed as Malaria.

“How­ever, other signs of Denger fever which in­clude gums, bloody di­ar­rhea, bleed­ing from the nose and se­vere pain be­hind the eyes, red palms and soles dif­fer­en­ti­ate it from malaria.”

He said the Nige­rian Cen­tre for Dis­ease Con­trol (NCDC) has swung into ac­tion and up­graded its sur­veil­lance ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to him all states and the na­tion’s port health posts and med­i­cal cen­tres have been put on high alert to screen trav­el­ers from coun­tries with con­firmed Ebola fever oc­cur­rence even as he ad­vised “Nige­rian cit­i­zens trav­el­ling to these coun­tries to be care­ful and should re­port any ill­ness with the above symp­toms to the near­est health fa­cil­ity.”

Also speak­ing, the head of the Nige­rian Cen­tre for Dis­ease Con­trol (NCDC), Prof. Ab­dul­salami Na­sidi warned hunters to guide against com­ing in con­tact with bush meat killed dur­ing hunt­ing and for Nige­ri­ans to be ex­tra-or­di­nar­ily care­ful with bush and smoked meat, as the Ebola and Dengue fevers could be con­tacted through in­dis­crim­i­nate eat­ing of smoked meat.

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