Connect with us

News

NCDC investigating strange disease in Sokoto – Idris

Published

on

NCDC

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr Olajide Idris has said the agency has begun investigating and responding to a strange illness identified in six wards in Sokoto State.

Idris said the agency has deployed a National Rapid Response Team to work with the Sokoto State Ministry of Health to respond to the incidents.

Idris explained at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, that the agency was notified by the state ministry of health on March 21, 2024, of reported cases of children presenting with symptoms which include abdominal distension due to the rapid onset of fluids in the abdomen (ascites), fever, vomiting and weight loss from Isa Local Government Area of the state.

The NCDC boss noted that most of the cases are children aged four to 13 years, including some adults from different wards and settlements across the LGA.

“The NCDC deployed a National Rapid Response Team to work with the State Ministry of Health to further investigate and respond to this incident. So far, a total of 164 suspected cases have been identified in six wards of Isa LGA Bargaja (22), Isa North (17), Isa South (98), Tozai (12), Tsabre (4), and Turba (11). Unfortunately, four deaths have been recorded among the suspected cases.

“A similar incident was previously documented in 2023, also without a definitive diagnosis.

“Currently, two suspected cases are currently receiving care in Uthman Dan Fodio University Teaching Hospital in Sokoto, and one case was discharged on account of improved symptoms. Four other suspected cases are also on admission at the Isa General Hospital, while about 130 cases are also receiving care either within the Primary Healthcare Centres or home care in the affected LGA.” Idris stated.

He further noted that the initial clinical assessment and investigations of the cases admitted at the teaching hospital ruled out an infectious origin of the event, necessitating the need to search for other causes, including heavy metal testing.

“Results of the initial test for heavy metals for the index and first few suspected cases revealed different blood levels of lead and Chromium.

“Observed activities in the affected communities include mining, agricultural practices which involve the use of various types of chemicals and pesticides, the health-seeking behaviour, and practices of the communities which may be detrimental to people’s health.

“In this regard, various samples of materials have also been taken and dispatched for analyses, including blood, abdominal fluids, environmental samples like soil and water, locally grown food produce including vegetables and grains, substances and ingredients used for food and drinks, pesticides and chemicals used in local guns,” the NCDC boss said.

Idris said the agency is working in collaboration with other stakeholders to support the state government in actively searching for cases and unravelling the outbreak, despite the security challenges affecting access to the community.

He also urged the members of the affected and nearby communities to be vigilant and report anyone presenting with symptoms to the nearest health facilities or call the NCDC toll-free line.

 

Trending