On Saturday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) officially confirmed the occurrence of a dengue fever outbreak in Sokoto State, All Nigeria Latest News reports.

Dengue fever, caused by the dengue virus and transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, is a viral infection.

The virus is prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical climates, particularly in urban and semi-urban areas worldwide.
Human-to-human transmission of the virus has not been established. Most individuals with dengue experience mild or no symptoms and recover within one to two weeks.

However, in rare cases, dengue can be severe, potentially leading to fatal outcomes. Symptoms typically manifest four to 10 days after infection and persist for two to seven days. Common signs include high fever (40°C/104°F), intense headache, eye pain, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands, and a rash. Notably, individuals who have had a previous dengue infection face an increased risk of severe dengue.

In a statement published on its official website, the NCDC reported that the outbreak was identified in November 2023.

According to a statement signed by Ifedayo Adetifa, the Director General of the NCDC, the current situation reveals 71 suspected cases, with 13 confirmed cases and no reported deaths in Sokoto State. These cases are distributed across three Local Government Areas: Sokoto South (60 cases), Wamako (three cases), and Dange Shuni (one case).

The statement notes that the majority of the reported suspected cases are within the age range of 21 to 40 years.

“The NCDC-led multisectoral National Emerging Viral Haemorrhagic Diseases Technical Working Group collaborating with partners and relevant stakeholders, has conducted a rapid risk assessment to guide in-country preparedness activities.

“The NEVHD TWG coordinates preparedness efforts for Ebola virus disease and other emerging viral haemorrhagic fever diseases,” the statement read in part.

“There is currently adequate in-country capacity (including technical, health workforce, and diagnostic) to respond effectively in the event of a large-scale outbreak. Nigeria has also responded to viral haemorrhagic fever epidemics like the Ebola Outbreak in 2014 and subsequently Lassa fever.

“This has built our preparedness and response capabilities for viral haemorrhagic fevers like the dengue virus over the years.

“Currently, there is a diagnostics capacity for the dengue virus at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory in Abuja and the Usman Dan Fodio University Sokoto Teaching Hospital Laboratory Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology.

“However, the NCDC will proceed to optimise existing Lassa fever testing laboratories and others within the NCDC national laboratory network for DENV diagnosis to improve preparedness and readiness in the event of a large-scale outbreak,” it said.

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