A virologist, Dr Adekunle Adeniji, has said Nigeria is in danger of Dengue fever outbreak, another deadly fever in the class of Ebola virus disease, said to be transmitted by two types of mosquitoes now rife in the country.
Dr Adeniji, Director of World Health Organisation (WHO) National Polio Laboratory, Department of Virology, University of Ibadan (UI), named the mosquitoes as Aedes aegypti mosquito (yellow fever mosquitoes) and Aedes albopictusis (tiger mosquitoes), adding that the mosquitoes had been observed in Nigeria and that they spent their lifetime in or around homes.
According to Dr Adeniji, “there is no house that these mosquitoes are not present, including big hotels. We have all the four stereotypes of Dengue fever in Nigeria. Although not all mosquitoes are infected with Dengue virus, if beaten by an infected one, it will spread the virus.”
The expert said these mosquitoes, black and tiny, with white patches on it, look alike, adding that the recent case people thought was Ebola virus disease turned out be a case of Dengue fever.
He said Dengue virus had been isolated by the Department of Virology as back as the 70’s from humans and mosquitoes, declaring that Aedes albopictusis was not native to Africa, but found its way into Nigeria through the international trade in used tyres, where their eggs were deposited.
Although there is yet no outbreak of Dengue fever in Nigeria, the expert urged the people to protect themselves from being bitten by mosquitoes and also charged them to maintain clean environment.