Death toll on Benue strange illness climbs to 20

• We suspect Yellow Fever -- State Epidemiologist

Benue State Epidemiologist, Dr Sam Ngishe on Saturday said that three more deaths have been recorded  from the  strange illness that is ravaging Okpeilo-Otukpa in Ogbadibo local government area of Benue State.

It will be recalled that the The State Government had on Tuesday raised the alarm of strange illness in Ogbadigbo local government which had killed 17 people.

Dr. Ngishe while speaking through the telephone said that 26 people involving two women and 24 men have so far gone down with the illness adding that the death toll had risen to 20.

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The Epidemiologist said, “All together, there have been 20 deaths and the state Ministry of Health is in the location and we have been able to move victims to different hospitals. We have collected samples and sent to National Reference Laboratory to be able to establish the kind of organism that is causing the problem.

He however said that they (the ministry) were  suspecting that the strange illness may be yellow fever.

“You know Enugu State has a situation of yellow fever. Also Delta and Edo. And the presentation has been very unusual for this current episode of outbreak.

“So, our mind is in the direction of yellow fever. Of course, it’s a viral heamorragic condition. But we suspect yellow fever. When the result comes out, we will be able to say for sure what it is.

Consequently,  Dr Ngishe said that the state is already planning to initiate a yellow fever campaign.

He said that  the community where the disease had ravaged already had a  wrong perception about  the strange illness, saying that the people were thinking that they  have offended the gods of the land, hence, the calamity befallen them.

The Epidemiologist added that those who have died from the strange illness are majorly below the age of 40 saying all those who had fallen ill with the sickness are two ladies and 24 men while one lady and 19 men have so far died.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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