Jude Chinedu, Enugu
There is palpable fear in Ette and Umuopu communities in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State following the outbreak of an unknown disease which has, so far, claimed at least 57 lives.
It was learnt that 37 deaths have so far been recorded in Ette, a community bordering Kogi State. The disease which broke out in the community in early September later spread to Umuopu community where 20 casualties have so far been recorded.
According to the Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer in the local government, Mr Vincent Oshomi, who revealed that four persons died yesterday (Wednesday) in Umuopu, the victims presented symptoms of convulsion and diarrhoea before vomiting blood.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Health, Prof Ikechukwu Obi in a statement on Thursday said that samples from patients have been sent to the National Reference Laboratory for investigation.
According to him, “the State Rapid Response Team of the Ministry visited Igbo-Eze North LGA and met with the local government Rapid Response Team”.
He noted that an on-the-spot-check and outbreak investigation carried out in the affected communities revealed a number of deaths from an illness with symptoms suggestive of a disease of Public Health Importance.
Prof. Obi further revealed that the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been informed “and is collaborating with the Enugu State Ministry of Health at the LGA to investigate and control the reports”.
He therefore assured the general public that the ministry was on top of the situation and will continue to inform them as facts emerge.