Epidemiologist confirms 2 cases of Lassa fever, 7 deaths from strange disease in Benue

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The Benue State Epidemiologist, Dr Samuel Ngishe, has confirmed two cases of Lassa fever and 7 deaths from a strange disease in the state.

Nyitse told News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Makurdi that the two cases of lassa fever were reported from Guma and Ogbadibo local government areas of the state.

He said the tests conducted on the patients turned positive while they had been quarantined within health facilities.

On the strange deaths that killed 7 people, the medical expert said all the victims were from Obi and Oju and said that they did not die on account of Lassa fever.

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He said: ” As at Friday, Feb. 12, 2020, only seven persons lost their lives. Other deaths were unrelated to the issue.

“The five cases in the areas when tested proved negative to lassa fever.

“As we speak with you now, yellow fever is at the back of our thoughts. However, the few samples that we tested proved negative to it.

“Notwithstanding, we are still waiting one component of the results to be out before we conclude. We are taking a larger population for testing in order to ascertain the exact situation.

“We were suspecting yellow fever because there was an outbreak of the disease in Ebonyi and Oye-Obi community shares a boundary with Ebonyi.

“In fact, it is only the river Obi that is separating them. When the outbreak occurred the people of Ado Local Government Area of the state were vaccinated against it but the people of Obi were not.

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“We have sent samples to the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja. So, for now, we cannot categorically say that the deaths were as a result of the chemicals or yellow fever.

“We got information that toward the end of last year some people applied gemmalin 20 into river Obi with the aim of catching fish for consumption.

“The river is not a fast flowing type, so the effect of the chemicals can still have effect on living things,” he said.

According to Nyitse, they are suspecting that the disease or deaths could be as a result of the Gammalin 20 that was emptied into the river.

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He said another Lassa fever case had been confirmed in the state.

“The result of this case came out over the weekend. The victim hails from Guma Local Government Area of the state,” he said.

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