”We want to reassure the people that government is with them and will take full responsibility of those who are already ill, so as to arrest the spread of this disease,” the Commissioner said.
It has been reported that an unknown disease has killed several people, in Okunran, Okoloke and Isanlu-Esa villages in Yagba West Local Government of Kogi State. Though, it was suspected to be laser fever because it has all the symptoms which includes; diarrhoea, bloodstained vomiting and high fever.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, on Thursday paid those involved a visit and was told by medic that it was a strange disease that was unknown. According to the medics, they said they initially suspected Lassa Fever after getting some misleading reports about people bleeding around, so they said they 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.
The unknown disease reports from Dr. Jannette Hathorn
According to Dr. Jannette Hathorn, she reported that the first case on this unknown disease was that of a child of two and half years, was brought to the hospital after 12 hours he died. She continued by saying that; we are sure it is not Lassa fever; but our concern is that we do not know exactly what is happening. We have not arrived at a definitive diagnosis.
She said in her second report that; two adult patients were also brought here; one showed symptoms of ulcer-viral illness, but there was no bleeding component of any haemorrhagic symptom. We isolated them and both of them were treated for malaria, she said; Se also reported that; when they started improving, we let them go.
She did not just stop reporting but continued with another report of a parent. She said that another parent brought a child to the hospital and pleaded for help. He said that 50 people had died in their village with similar symptoms of bloodstained vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. When the child died, we called the World Health Organisation (WHO). Yesterday (Wednesday), their officials came and took samples of everything; we must know exactly what we are dealing with,” she said.
The Commissioner for Health Audu, reactions on the unknown disease
The Commissioner for Health Audu, described the situation as “serious”, and said that the visit was to assess the situation especially since many lives have been lost to the disease. He said that; we want to determine the cause of these mysterious deaths and then proffer solution to it. He also said that the government is committed to assisting the people irrespective of how remote their settlements may be. We must ensure that we take healthcare to the door steps of rural dwellers.
We want to reassure the people that government is with them and will take full responsibility of those who are already ill, so as to arrest the spread of this disease, the Commissioner said. He continued by saying that; for now, what is clear and confirmed is that it is not Lassa fever; but whatever it is, we will carry out further investigation and come up with definitive diagnosis,” Audu said.
He told the people that the government got to know about the disease outbreak last week and that made technical team were sent at once to take the samples which they took to the General Hospital, Irua, Edo State, for adequate study. Also,he assures them that they are not relenting in knowing the actual cause of the mysterious deaths among the children. He also said that; ‘’we are digging into the real cause of this ailment.
According to him, the Fulani settlers have been reported to be the worst hit by the disease which broke out three weeks ago.
The fulani men unknown disease experience
The Fulani report was not funny, as Ardo Damina, the leader of the Fulani settlement told newsmen that the first case was reported three weeks ago, adding that children were worst hit. He also said that they were initially making use of herbs for treatment, but was doing much. Therefore, they have to be quickly taken to the hospital after many deaths.
He also said that parents are more confused after when doctors could not really find out the cause and cure of the illness. According to him, a lot were discharged from the hospital without cure while many of them died. We have lost more than 50 people and still have many helpless patients at home; he added.
Oba Joshua Ogunyanda, the traditional ruler of the community expression
Oba Joshua Ogunyanda, the traditional ruler of the community, expressed his gratitude to the commissioner for his visit despite the environment which may not be conducive for him. He also said that he ran to the Yabba Local Government when the disease broke out.
The traditional ruler went further to say that; we have the confident that the disease will soon be brought under control with the commitment that you have shown.