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Strange disease kills 25 in Benue, Oyo

Over 25 persons have been reportedly killed by yet to be identified diseases in Benue and Oyo states.  At least 17 people have died from…

Over 25 persons have been reportedly killed by yet to be identified diseases in Benue and Oyo states. 

At least 17 people have died from an outbreak of a strange illness in Okpeilo-Otukpa in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State, while eight reportedly died of a strange disease in two communities in Ibadan.

The Benue State Ministry of Health and Human Service raised the alarm on the 17 deaths yesterday in a statement signed by its Permanent Secretary, Sir Andrew Amee on behalf of the commissioner.

Amee said, “We currently have one case which was brought to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi by a relative of the patient. Others are receiving treatment in different hospitals.”

He stated that symptoms of the illness usually include fever, abdominal pain and general body weakness, while some people stool and vomit with tinges of blood.

He added that the state government, now aware of the outbreak, has responded swiftly to facilitate investigation to establish the cause of the illness.

Amee said Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has approved funds to enable the state Ministry of Health and Human Services carry out the investigation.

The deaths in Oyo state were recorded in Ariku and Lagun villages of Lagelu North Local Council Development Area (LCDA) area of Ibadan.

According to some residents of the area, eight people died as a result of the disease, suspected to be cholera outbreak, while 10 others were said to have been hospitalized as a result of the outbreak.

A resident of the area, who craved anonymity, said the deaths had created fear among the people living in the area.

Secretary of Lagelu North LCDA, Mudashiru Quamardeen, confirmed the incident to journalists in Ibadan yesterday.

Quamardeen described the disease as an outback of cholera.

“It is a suspected case of cholera. Because people are vomiting, we suspect it is cholera outbreak,” he said.

However, the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Bashir Bello, said the reported deaths were not true, going by the investigations of the state government.

Daily Trust reports that no fewer than 15 deaths were recorded from a strange illness in Ute-Okpu and Idumuesah communities in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State in the last week of October.

Also, over 50 persons were reportedly killed by a strange illness in Ette Uno and Umuopu communities of Enugu Ezike town, Igbo-Eze North Area council between September and November.

However, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed that the strange illnesses in the communities in Delta and Enugu were outbreaks of yellow fever.

NCDC said it was currently supporting Delta and Enugu State governments with response to the disease.

“On the 2nd and 3rd of November 2020, NCDC was notified by the State Ministries of Health of Delta and Enugu States respectively, of cases presenting with symptoms indicative of a viral haemorrhagic fever. Most cases presented with fever, headache, fatigue, jaundice vomiting (with or without blood) among others.

“As at the 6th of November 2020, three samples from Delta and one sample from Enugu tested positive for yellow fever at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital Laboratory and NCDC’s National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa. More samples are being tested from both states to confirm the causative organism of this outbreak,” the NCDC said in a statement signed by its Director-General   Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu.


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