Strange illness has killed 17 people in Benue, says commissioner

Seventeen persons were reported to have died of a strange illness ravaging the Okpeilo-Otukpa area in the Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State.

The State Government in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Commissioner for Health and Human Service, Dr Emmanuel Ikwulono, said, “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.”

The commissioner, in the statement signed by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Andrew Amee, said symptoms of the illness usually include fever, abdominal pain, and general body weakness, while some stool and vomit with tinges of blood.

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He said that the government was aware of the outbreak and had responded swiftly to facilitate an investigation to establish the cause of the illness.

The statement added, “His Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom, has approved funds to enable the State Ministry of Health and Human Services to carry out the investigation.

“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.”

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