Written By Murrjanatu Abba
Contrary to previous studies on the commonality of Dengue fever in some parts of Nigeria, a study by a Master’s degree student of the Africa Center of Excellence for Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology, (ACENTDFB) hosted by the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria Daniel Thakuma Tizhe found the presence of Dengue infection, as well as Dengue and Malaria co-infections with an overall sero-prevalence of 19.4% in Adamawa State. The study was supervised by Professor Jacob Kwaga and Dr. Grace Kia revealing that only Dengue virus serotype 1 isolates were found to be in circulation.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world such as Africa and Asia. The virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. The infection causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called Severe Dengue. The global incidence of Dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades and about half of the world’s population is now at risk. There is no specific treatment for dengue/severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates from more than 20% to less than 1%. Dengue prevention and control depends on effective vector control measures. The control and management of Dengue remains the primary priority of public healthcare institutions in many endemic countries.
A population-based survey was conducted in healthcare facilities in Adamawa State, Nigeria to determine the occurrence of dengue fever based on ELISA serological test, and the serotypes of the virus in circulation, using the highly sensitive Real-Time PCR technique.
Prior to this study, dengue had not been reported in the study location, but this survey found dengue infection, as well as dengue and malaria co-infections, across the study locations with an overall sero-prevalence of 19.4%. Surprisingly only Dengue virus serotype 1 isolates were found to be in circulation.
Based on the study’s findings, it was recommended that public healthcare professionals should consider other causes of febrile illnesses hence the need to conduct laboratory diagnosis to determine the possible causes of the infection.