Strange Disease Kills 50 People In Kogi
The disease with symptoms including: diarrhea, bloodstained vomiting and high fever was recorded at Okunran, Okoloke and Isanlu-Esa villages in Yagba West Local Government Area.
Reports suggest the Fulani settlers in the area were reported to be the worst hit by the disease which broke out three weeks ago.
Initial reports had suspected Lassa Fever, but medics told Dr. Saka Audu, the Commissioner for Health, who visited the affected areas on Thursday, that the disease appears strange and unknown.
“We initially suspected Lassa Fever after getting some misleading reports about people bleeding around, so we made a diagnosis for viral haemorrhagic fever (lassa fever), but the result was negative,” Dr. Jannette Hathorn, a Consultant at ECWA Hospital, Egbe told Audu.
She said that the first case was that of a child of two and half years, who died 12 hours after he was brought to the hospital.
“We are sure it is not lassa fever; but our concern is that we do not know exactly what is happening. We have not arrived at a definitive diagnosis.
“Two adult patients were also brought here; one showed symptoms of ulcer-viral illness, but there was no bleeding component of any haemorrhagic symptom.
Audu, who described the situation as serious, said that the visit was to assess the it “especially since many lives have been lost to the disease”.
“We want to determine the cause of these mysterious deaths and then proffer solution to it.
“Government is committed to assisting the people irrespective of how remote their settlements may be. We must ensure that we take healthcare to the door steps of rural dwellers.
“We want to reassure the people that government is with them and will take full responsibility of those who are already ill, so as to arrest the spread of this disease.
“For now, what is clear and confirmed is that it is not lassa fever; but whatever it is, we will carry out further investigation and come up with definitive diagnosis,” Audu said.