FG denies ebola outbreak in Nigeria

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BY CHIOMA OBINNA & GABRIEL OLAWALE

The Federal Government yesterday confirmed outbreak of dengue heamorrhagic fever in Nasarawa State, denying media reports about the outbreak of Ebola diseases in the country.

In a press statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Health, FMoH, and signed by the Special Assistant on Media and Communication to the Minister of Health, Mr. Dan Nwomeh, explained that laboratory investigation into the alleged ebola case in Nasarawa showed a case of Dengue heamorrhagic fever and not Ebola.

Dengue fever is caused by a virus named Dengue fever virus (DFV). This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, mostly in urban and semi urban areas.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation, WHO, has confirmed ebola fever in Liberia, and has started to spread from Guinea across West Africa.

Nwomeh disclosed that the government explained that 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.

According to the statement; Dengue Heamorrhagic Fever, DHF, is an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows a benign course with symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and rashes. At the onset of the disease, it mimicks Malaria and, often so, it is mistakenly diagnosed as Malaria. However, other signs of Dengue fever which include bleeding gums, bloody diarrhea, bleeding from the nose and severe pain behind the eyes, red palms and soles differentiate it from Malaria. Laboratory tests are usually necessary for its confirmation.

Nwomeh in the statement explained that the prevention of the transmission of Dengue Heamorrhagic Fever is similar to the prevention of Malaria.

“It is therefore very important to give environmental sanitation and mosquito bites control a high priority to reduce mosquito-human contact and also to eliminate multiplication of mosquitoes that are the vectors of the Dengue fever virus,” he said

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