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Outbreak of mysterious disease in Gombe kills 12 persons, others hospitalised

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Outbreak of mysterious disease in Gombe kills 12 persons, others hospitalised

Atleast 12 persons have been confirmed dead with 200 others hospitalised following the outbreak of a strange disease in Chessi community in Balanga Local Government Area of Gombe State.

Gombe State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Habu Dahiru, confirmed the disease outbreak in an interview with BBC Hausa Service on Tuesday.

Dr Dahiru revealed that the state government has taken precautionary measures to contain further spread of the disease outside the already affected community.

He said: “We got the report of the disease outbreak in the community about a week ago. Immediately we received the report, we activated the emergency response system from the local and state governments.

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Furthermore, initial re port we received indicated that over 170 people from different households in the community were rushed down by the strange disease.

“The affected people presented different symptoms which include severe fever, stomach pain, swollen stomach, and their eyes also changed colour.

“Sadly, there’s no health facility in the village. But alternatively, we gathered the affected persons in a school facility in the community for further investigation and sample collection as expected. That was the initial responses as expected of us.”

He also confirmed that officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have been contacted regarding the development, but there was indication that the situation might snowball into bigger health challenge.

“Initially, we suspected so many ailments including Lassa fever or other known diseases, and to be sure, we collected and submitted blood, feaces, and other samples including water to NCDC Laboratory for further investigation.

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“But the results returned negative to what we suspected, meaning that none of them was responsible.

“However, based on the tests conducted, there are indications that typhoid is present on the blood samples collected. So, we decided to administer typhoid treatment to the affected persons, and we are getting result. Out of about 250 people that came down with the ailment, we have treated and discharged about 210 persons.

“Sadly, 12 deaths had been recorded in the community. About 30 persons are still receiving treatment. We have also submitted samples water and other consumables because we suspected a heavy metal poisoning, and the result is being expected by the end of Tuesday.

“But whatever the case maybe, the treatment we are giving to them is yielding results. So, we might even conclude that it was typhoid that brought down these persons and also caused the deaths that was recorded in the community,” he said.

Meanwhile, NCDC is yet to comment on the development.

 

Proofreading, editing by Gift Luckson and Hafsat Aleeyu Muye, Journalist and Editor at Neptune Prime.

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