The Federal Ministry of Health said on Tuesday that laboratory investigation had shown that there was outbreak of Dengue haemorrhagic fever in Nigeria and not Ebola virus as widely reported.
Speaking at a news conference in Abuja, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Khaliru Alhassan, said the alleged outbreak of Ebola disease in the country was false and misplaced.
“As a follow up of a report in a section of the media of an outbreak of Ebola disease in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Health wishes to inform the general public that laboratory investigation has revealed that it is not Ebola, but Dengue haemorrhagic fever.
“This has been reported wrongly. “Dengue fever is caused by a virus, which is usually transmitted through a particular type of mosquito – not the normal Anopheles mosquito that we know transmits malaria – but another kind of mosquito known as Aedes albopictus.
“Its (Dengue haemorrhagic fever) symptoms are very similar to that of malaria; that is, you get fever, you get headache, you get body pains and of course it may be associated with vomiting.“
Alhassan added that dengue fever could cause bleeding gums, bloody diarrhoea, nose bleeding, severe pains in the eyes as well as red palms and soles.
According to the minister of state, the activities of the mosquito that transmits the virus are being closely monitored nationwide by the Enugu-based Arbovirus Research Centre of the ministry.
He urged the public to keep the environment clean always, saying that the ministry had intensified surveillance on the disease with all the state ministries alerted.