Latest report by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has revealed the emergence of viral dengue in three local government areas in Sokoto State fever on December 16. So far, the state has witnessed 71 suspected cases and 13 confirmed cases of this mosquito-borne infection, with no fatalities recorded. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies Dengue, famously referred to as break-bone fever, as a viral infection transmitted from mosquitoes to humans. Transmission of the disease mainly occurs through the Aedes mosquito, which is mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions.
In most cases, individuals experiencing dengue will show few or even no signs and will recover within 1–2 weeks. However, WHO warns that in rare cases, dengue can turn critical and result in death. In instances where symptoms do manifest, they often commence within 4–10 days after infection and persist for a span of 2–7 days. These symptoms may comprise a high fever (40°C/104°F), intense headache, discomfort in the eyes, muscle and joint ache, nausea, vomiting, glandular inflammation, and a rash. As per the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, approximately 80 percent of cases show no symptoms.
Individuals residing in tropical areas face risk with the disease.
Severe consequences may arise when the infection escalates, resulting in dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome both of which can be fatal if not treated promptly. The likelihood of experiencing severe dengue is significantly heightened for individuals who have previously been infected. Symptoms of severe dengue fever comprise intense stomach ache, continuous retching, swift respiration, hemorrhaging gums or nostrils, exhaustion, unease, blood in vomit or feces, extreme thirst, pallid and chilly skin, and a sense of feebleness. Current information shows that severe dengue carries a fatality rate ranging from 2 to 5 percent if its symptoms are treated promptly. When neglected and untreated, the fatality rate escalates to 15 percent.
Around 1 in 20 people who become ill will experience severe dengue, an ailment that could potentially be fatal, according to the Center for Disease Control. Individuals residing in or visiting regions with a substantial presence of Aedes mosquitoes like tropical and subtropical areas, face the danger of contracting it. The risk of contracting the disease escalates due to inadequate mosquito control measures, heavy monsoon showers, and stagnant water, which poses a threat to people of all ages alike. The WHO reports that nearly half of the global population is currently exposed to the disease, an estimated number of infections ranging from 100 to 400 million annually.
Fatalities are being prevented by prompt treatment.
Dengue fever is spreading rapidly worldwide, with scientists and public health experts attributing this surge to a combination of climate change, increased temperatures, and human activities such as rapid urbanization and globalization. It is believed that the Aedes mosquitoes, carriers of the disease, are finding favourable conditions in warm and humid environments due to extreme weather events, leading to an expansion in their habitat range. The Aedes mosquito has extended its reach to new regions in Asia, as well as South and Central America, while also advancing within Africa and warmer areas of select affluent nations such as Australia, the United States, and parts of southern Europe.
Some tropical regions experience an increase in dengue fever outbreaks due to the El Niño weather pattern, which is known to cause higher temperatures. Furthermore, the lack of proper measures to control mosquitoes and the absence of effective vaccines are also factors contributing to the growing cases of dengue fever in certain areas. The NCDC revealed that likelihood fatalities from severe cases are being prevented by prompt identification and availability of adequate healthcare, in the absence of a particular vaccine or treatment for the disease.
Avoiding mosquito bites is the most effective precaution.
WHO states that the majority of individuals suffering from dengue fever can manage their symptoms within the comfort of their homes, utilizing pain medication. Furthermore, individuals residing in regions where dengue is prevalent and having already contracted the disease can consider the Dengvaxia vaccine. The most effective precaution, according to WHO, is to avoid mosquito bites, noting that Aedes mosquitoes are active in daylight hours. To prevent mosquitoes, it is suggested that people and their households take various actions such as eradicating possible mosquito breeding grounds, utilizing mosquito repellents, donning protective clothing, and installing doors and windows screens.