Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
No fewer than 17 people have reportedly died with many persons still battling for their lives after a strange illness suddenly hit Okpeilo-Otukpa Community in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the state’s Ministry of Health and Human Service, Sir Andrew Amee for the Commissioner, Dr Emmanuel Ikwulono, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday.
The statement alerted that at the time the Ministry received the report about the strange illness, it had reportedly killed about 17 persons while many others are still fighting for their lives at different hospitals.
“We have received a report of an unknown illness in a community called Okpeilo-Otukpa in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State.
“At the time of the receipt of the report yesterday, 9th November 2020, about 17 persons were already said to have died of the illness.
“We currently have one case which was brought to Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi by a relative of the patient. Others are receiving treatment in different hospitals.
Amee listed symptoms of the strange illness to include fever, abdominal pain and general body weakness, adding that some victims pass stool and vomit with tinges of blood.
While explaining that the State Government is aware of the outbreak and has responded swiftly to facilitate investigation to establish the cause of the illness, the Permanent Secretary said Governor Samuel Ortom had already approved funds to enable the State Ministry of Health and Human Services carry out an investigation on the development.
“In the meantime, we advise the people of Ogbadibo and its environs to maintain good hygiene practices and report anyone with the said symptoms to the Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers in the local government area, or call the Benue Emergency Operations Centre on the following toll-free telephone numbers; 09010999920, 09010999919; WhatsApp, SMS 08123135458.”