Strange Disease: NCDC says Rapid Response Team Supporting Benue


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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), says the National Rapid Response Team is supporting the Benue State Ministry of Health to investigate a strange fatal illness in Oye Obi, Obi Local Government Area of the state.

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Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of NCDC, said this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Abuja, while giving an update on the yet to be diagnosed disease in Benue State.

Oye Obi was three weeks ago ravaged by the strange disease which resulted in the deaths of four people.

The senator representing Benue South Senatorial District, Abba Moro, had disclosed on the floor of the Senate that 15 persons died from the strange disease while 104 were hospitalised.

Ihekweazu said that infective causes, including the known Viral Haemorrhagic Lassa Fever, had been ruled out.

He, however, said that water samples were tested for possible chemical poisoning.

According to Ihekweazu, the last known death from the affected area was reported on Feb. 7.

He disclosed that NCDC was working hard with the federal ministries of Environment and Water Resources, to identify the cause and respond accordingly.

“We are closely monitoring those who have contracted the disease. We tested for Lassa fever and Yellow fever and the results were negative. So, we are waiting for the final results,’’ Ihekweazu said.

NAN, reports that the Benue government had said it would likely take samples of water, sand, fish and plants in Oye Obi for examination abroad.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Sunday Ongbabo, however, said local investigation was ongoing using water, sand, plants and fish of the area.

Ongbabo also said water laboratory analysis being carried out at the Enugu Teaching Hospital was yet to be concluded.

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