By Peter Duru – Makurdi
Benue State Government has explained that medical experts from the state are still battling hard to successfully diagnose and ascertain the nature and source of the strange ailment that broke out two weeks ago at Oye-Obi settlement, an Island bordering Obi and Oju Local Government Areas, LGA, of the state.
Vanguard recalls that the National President of the Igede National Youth Council, INYC, Comrade Andyson Egbodo had raised the alarm over the outbreak which at the time claimed four lives while over 100 others presented the same symptom of headache, vomiting, internal heat, stomach ache, weakness of the body and swollen stomach.
The lawmaker representing Benue south district in the Senate, Senator Abba Moro had also raised the issue on the floor of the senate where he claimed that 15 persons had already lost their lives to the ailment while 104 were in dire need of medical attention.
The State Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Dr. Sunday Ongbabo in an update yesterday in Makurdi explained that laboratory analysis was being carried out at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, Enugu to ascertain the true nature of the disease.
He stated further that investigation was ongoing to ascertain the level of contamination of the source of water in the area including the sand, plants, and fishes in the river that surrounds the island.
Dr. Ongbabo said, “we mobilized our team since the outbreak of the disease and sent out our Disease Surveillance Officers to the community and they are still there.
“We are closely monitoring those who have contracted the disease. We have already tested for Lassa Fever and Yellow fever and the results were negative.
“So, we are waiting for the final result. It is even likely that at the end of the day, the samples may be taken abroad for further laboratory analysis,” added.