While Nigerian are still recovering from the news of death occasioned by covid19 pandemic Globally, three communities — Umuokpu, Ete and Ogwurugwu — in the last one month have been battling strange deaths from unknown ailments. Igbo-Eze North LGA shares a boundary with Kogi State.
The cause of the deaths is not immediately clear but the residents said victims were mostly youth and reported weakness, fever and headache before passing on.
The disease which they said broke out at Ette at the beginning of September 2020, had spread to the border community of Umuopu, where 20 persons have died, including four casualties recorded yesterday.
The Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer in the council area, Vincent Oshomi, also said the cause of the strange deaths is not yet known. However, he said that the Enugu State Ministry of Health has been alerted and specimen of the affected persons in the communities collected for proper diagnosis and treatment.
He explained that the victims presented symptoms such as convulsion, diarrhoea before vomiting blood, adding that they are suspecting Lassa fever or cholera. He also said “Between September and now, at least 37 persons have died at Ette community. Also, Umuopu community, which shares a common border with Ette have recorded 20 deaths, four of which happened yesterday. It has been a strange development he added.
However the State Ministry of Health says it has collected samples from patients and sent to the National Reference Laboratory for investigation.
A statement by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi, said the State Rapid Response Team of the Ministry visited Igbo-Eze North LGA and met with the LGA Rapid Response Team, for “on-the-spot-check and outbreak investigation have revealed a number of deaths from an illness with symptoms suggestive of a disease of Public Health Importance” Dr. Obi further explained that the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been informed and is collaborating with the Enugu State Ministry of Health at the LGA to investigate and control the reports and assured the general public that the Ministry is on top of the situation and will continue to inform them as facts emerges.