Agaju Madugba, Katsina
A yet-to-be-identified disease has claimed at least 18 lives in Matazu, Matazu Local Government Area of Katsina.
The victims died between the evening of Monday and yesterday morning in what health officials described as complications arising from the strange ailment which apparently mimmicks clinical symptoms of yellow fever.
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kabir Mustapha, who confirmed the incident said the death toll is from a total of 47 cases of persons who reportedly contracted the disease in the area.
He said the state Primary Health Care Development Agency had during a recent immunisation campaign administered a total of 6.3 million doses of yellow fever vaccine across the 34 councils, including Matazu and environs.
“Our health officers went to Matazu and confirmed that some people died from a disease that mimmicks yellow fever.
There were 47 cases and 18 of them have died as at this (Tuesday) morning.
“You can only confirm a disease after laboratory tests in Lagos and Abuja. Some of the victims were brought to the Federal medical Centre here in Katsina.
“All we can do is supportive management of the patients by rehydrating them, among other measures. Quite a number of patients eventually die when they reach this stage.
“We don’t know the name of this disease for now and we can only treat a disease that we know,” he said.
He listed certain clinical symptoms of yellow fever to include headache, fever, bleeding through the nose and eyes and urinating blood which may eventually lead to renal or kidney failure.
Medical reports indicate that the yellow fever virus is found in certain species of monkeys and transmitted into human bloodstream by mosquito bites.