The strange killer disease that has claimed no fewer than 62 lives in Kogi State, north-central Nigeria, has finally been identified as gastroenteritis – a common condition that causes diarrhoea and vomiting that is usually caused by a bacterial or viral tummy bug
This was disclosed by the state Commissioner for Health, Saka Audu, in a press briefing in Lokoja in which he said all the victims were diagnosed to have the disease and malaria, Vanguard writes.
“The current information available to us is that the disease actually started six weeks ago in Okoloke village in Yagba West, which is a settlement that is predominantly inhabited by Fulani herdsmen,” Audu said.
“There have been cases of reported deaths following abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, but the patients who showed signs of illness had since been evacuated and transported to Kogi State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, for better treatment. So far, we have evacuated 39 patients from Okoloke area and only six of them were admitted and have shown significant sign of improvement while others have since been discharged.
“Out of the six that were admitted, three of them were diagnosed with gastroenteritis and the remaining three were just cases of malaria, and they have shown remarkable signs of improvement.”
He allayed fears that the disease was the dreaded Lassa fever, saying the result of samples taken from the patients to Irua General Hospital in Edo State for investigation proved negative.
“We want to assure the general public that government is doing all that is humanly possible to stay on top of the situation and forestall further loss of lives.”