Kogi debunks report on ‘strange disease killing over 50 people’

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Kogi State Government on Wednesday debunked a report that a strange disease killed over 50 persons in Olomaboro Local Government.

Health Commissioner Dr. Saka Audu, in an interview monitored on Wednesday on Channels TV, said the deaths could only have been recorded in neighbouring Enugu State.

He said it was impossible for the disease to cross the boundary from Enugu to Kogi.

The lawmaker representing Olamaboro State Constituency, Ujah Anthony Alewo, on Tuesday in a motion of urgent public importance presented on the floor of the House of Assembly, claimed that over 50 people from the area died from the strange disease.

He said the strange disease had symptoms of headache, red eyes, loss of appetite, inability to urinate, convulsion and other ailments, which he noted finally killed the victims.

Alewo lamented that it was sad and disturbing that the residents of Etteh Community, Olamaboro Local Government, were thrown into confusion by the outbreak of an epidemic alien to them.

He said the cause of the disease remained unknown, and that infected persons died within a week of contracting it.

The legislator said: “Efforts to seek solution, using local herbs and treatment at local health centres, with referrals to neighbouring clinics and hospitals at Ogugu and Okpo in Olamaboro were not successful.

“The reports reaching my constituency office from the community leaders confirmed that over 50 people within the productive age of 25 to 40 years died from September to date.”

Speaking further, the commissioner said the government has over the years carried out vaccinations in the area.

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He said: “There is no death from any strange disease on our side of the divide. Etteh, a border community with Enugu State, is in Olamaboro Local Government of Kogi State. I have been in contact with the Enugu health commissioner, who said samples have been taken (from the Enugu residents). Even NCDC has said the deaths (in Enugu) are from Yellow Fever.

“A Rapid Response team from Kogi State Ministry of Health has been to Etteh twice. No death was recorded.”

Deputy Speaker Ahmed Mohammed had noted that the community (Etteh) shared boundary with Enugu State, and called for urgent action to avert further loss of lives.

Speaker Prince Mathew Kolawole on Tuesday directed that the House should write to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja for support.

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