The Federal Government has deployed the National Rapid Response Team to Kano State to unravel the mystery of a strange illness alongside managing identified victims in the state.
Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
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Four persons have reportedly died with over 200 others infected with the strange disease confirmed in 13 local government areas, including eight metropolitan councils in the state.
Ihekweazu said the Kano State Ministry of Health reported a cluster of cases in 13 LGAs within the state with most of the cases having fever, vomiting, yellowish eyes and abdominal pain as symptoms.
“We’ve tested four samples taken from these cases for Lassa fever and yellow fever at the NCDC National Reference Lab. The results of these were negative.
“We’re working with, our sister agency NAFDAC as well as a toxicologist from FMoH to test for potential non-infectious causes,” he said.
He said the agency had also collected additional human and environmental samples for metagenomic sequencing which is a method for detecting rare new causes of illness.
He said, “Our immediate focus is to identify the cause of this outbreak, ensure management of current cases and to control transmission.
“We’ll continue to keep members of the public aware of our findings, while we support the state’s response.”