Strange disease kills 50 people in Kogi

No fewer than 50 people have died from the outbreak of a strange disease in Okunran, Okoloke and Isanlu-Esa in Yagba West Local Government of Kogi State.

The symptoms of the disease are diarrhoea, blood-stained vomit and high fever.

 Initial reports suspected Lassa Fever, but medics told Dr. Saka Audu, the State Commissioner for Health, who visited the affected areas on Thursday, that it was a strange diseases that was unknown.

“We initially suspected Lassa Fever after getting some misleading reports about people bleeding around, so we made a diagnosis for viral hemorrhagic fever (Lassa fever), but the result was negative,” Dr. Jannette Hathorn, a Consultant at ECWA Hospital, Egbe told Audu.

She said that the first case was that of a child of two and half years, who died 12 hours after he was brought to the hospital.

 “It is not Lassa fever, but the concern is that we do not know exactly what is happening. We have not arrived at a definitive diagnosis,’’ she said.

She explained that two adult patients were also brought with one showing symptoms of ulcer-viral illness, but there was no bleeding component of any hemorrhagic symptom.

 “When the child died, we called the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday and their officials came and took samples of everything; we must know exactly what we are dealing with,” she said.

Audu, who described the situation as “serious”, said that the visit was to assess the situation, “especially since many lives have been lost to the disease”.


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