Nigerian health officials are investigating, what is described as a “strange illness”in Kogi State, the week prior, something similar was reported in Kwara State . The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s (NCDC) Surveillance Team immediately contacted the State Epidemiology Teams of both States.
Preliminary findings from the States showed that some cases presented with symptoms that fits the case definition of Lassa fever. However, laboratory test came out negative for Lassa fever and tests are now being carried out for other viral diseases in one of our collaborating laboratories.
While the NCDC reported Friday on five cases with mild illness and no deaths of unknown illness have been identified, an Anadolu Agency report states: At least 62 people are confirmed dead by a yet-to-be-diagnosed disease, a health official in Nigeria’s north central Kogi state has said.
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The Nigerian news source, Premium Times reported today: “The current information available to us is that the strange disease actually started six weeks ago in Okoloke village in Yagba West, which is a settlement that is predominantly inhabited by Fulani herdsmen.
“There have been cases of reported deaths following abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, but the patients who showed signs of illness had since been evacuated and transported to Kogi State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja for better treatment.
On the 62 persons earlier reported to have died, the commissioner said the figure was given by local leaders in the affected areas and was yet to be verified by government.
The Kogi State government suspect malaria and gastroenteritis.
The NCDC said they are supporting Kogi and Kwara States in ongoing investigations and the Rapid Response Team is ready to be deployed as required.
They are asking the public to remain calm and to continue to ensure proper hygiene and sanitation measures are in place at all times and avoid self-medication. They are also encouraged to report to a health facility immediately if they experience symptoms such as sudden high fever, especially if it does not respond to conventional remedies.
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