Paul Osuyi, Asaba
No fewer than 15 persons between the ages of 18 and 25 have reportedly died in the last two weeks as a result of unknown disease ravaging Ute-Okpu and Idumesa communities in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State.
The deaths considered by locals as mysterious have left many in shock with appeals made to the state government to urgently intervene to save lives in the two communities.
But the state government, has however, said there was no cause for alarm as its Epidemiologist, Dr. Richard Ikwuog, had led a team to visit bereaved families in the communities and cases in the hospital at Umunede.
Ikwuogu said he suspected viral hemorrhagic fever or substance abuse by the youths, but insisted that the outcome of tests on collected samples would give clear information on the source of the disease and deaths.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, who also led a team of health officials to the communities on the orders of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, advised residents to observe good hygiene by properly covering their foods, cutting grasses in their sourroundings, eliminating rats in their homes and continuous observance of COVID-19 safety guidelines, especially hand washing with soap and running water.
“Delta Government has received information on seemingly mysterious deaths in Ute-Okpu and Idumesa communities of Ika North East Local Government Area which prompted Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to direct the Ministry of Health to immediately investigate these deaths, identify the causes and effect containment measures,” he said.
He said the governor had directed the upgrade of the Comprehensive Health Center in the town to a full fledged hospital.