The Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr Rilwanu Muhammad, said an unknown disease suspected to be typhoid fever or shigella dysentery has killed 13 people in Saburi community of AMAC in Abuja.
Muhammad told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that the disease broke out on Feb. 18.
He said 13 out of 14 affected people died while a five-year-old child survived the outbreak as at Feb. 22.
The scribe said the victims of the disease are not from a single household.
According to him, the victims are experiencing fever, abdominal pain and diarrhoea, and sometimes bloody diarrhoea and they subsequently die.
“There is no good sanitation in the community and we suspect salmonella typhi and shigella dysentery in that community,” said Muhammad.
He explained that shigella dysentery is a bacterial species causing dysentery in humans and in monkeys, found only in faeces of symptomatic individuals.
“It is not food poisoning; it is not cholera or gastroenteritis; that is why we are suspecting typhoid,’’ the executive secretary emphasised.
He said the board had taken the sample of the water from the well and three different boreholes in the community for analysis.
He said the community had about 20 boreholes and all of them are not looking neat.
Muhammad urged the community to embrace hand washing, good personal hygiene and good environmental management.
The scribe added that the sample was taken to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control laboratory to confirm the diagnosis.
He assured residents of the board’s efforts at controlling the situation and treating infected persons.
“Chicken pox is another problem that is affecting the FCT, especially in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps,” he said.
He said 18 people were affected with Chicken pox in AMAC, stressing that chicken pox is the disease that have vaccination but was yet to be included in the National Programme on Immunisation.
“We also have reported cases of Measles in some general hospitals in the FCT.
“We are much worried that people are not doing routine immunisation well because if people adhere to it very well the outbreak will have gone down.
“We are going to embark on a follow-up campaign on measles to catch up those who have not received the vaccine.
“We did it recently and we are going to repeat it again,” Muhammad said.
Besides, he urged residents to take measles vaccination as it reduces complications from the sickness such blindness, ear deafness, pneumonia and abdominal pains. (NAN)