Nigeria,Ode Irele, Ondo state: A new quickly lethal disease; not virus neither bacteria, but poison.
April 19, 2015
Update: 27.4. 2015
Mysterious Disease In Irele Not Contagious – Ondo Govt
Following the mayhem that has beleaguered the people of Ode-Irele in Ondo state as a result of an outbreak of a mysterious disease, the state government has urged people to stay calm as an element of good news has been reported.
According to the Ondo state government, the strange disease that has killed 18 people since its outbreak on April 15 in Ode-Irele, Irele local government area of the state, is not contagious, Leadership reports.
The state commissioner for health, Dr Dayo Adeyanju, made the declaration on Sunday, April 20, in Akure, while addressing newsmen.
According to Adeyanju, the findings from post-mortems carried out on the victims and other laboratory tests revealed that the disease was neither epidemic nor contagious.
- He said the preliminary report shows that ethanol poison mixed with roots was found in the systems of all the victims.
Adeyanju said, “Our investigations have also revealed that the victims, who, interestingly, were all Okada riders, gathered at some local joints to consume alcoholic substance mixed with roots and some other local herbs on the eve of the outbreak of the disease.
“I can assure you that the disease is in no way contagious. The fact that none of the caregivers has contracted the disease has greatly underscored this point.”
“Therefore, the fear of spread does not arise and should be discouraged. We strongly suspect ethanol poison, and in view of this, we have ordered for another toxicology test for surviving victims,” Adeyanju said.
Adeyanju, who said that there had been no reports of new cases in the last three days, explained further that 23 people were affected in all, out of which 18 lost their lives.
The commissioner disclosed that the five survivors, who have currently gone blind, have been referred to the University Teaching Hospital, (UCH) in Ibadan for further examination and monitoring.
Adeyanju said he would not join issue with traditionalists who believe that the outbreak of the disease was due to an angry god from whose shrines some youths were said to have gone to steal.
According to the commissioner, his job goes beyond explaining the god’s action as he was expected to back up his claims with available evidence.
However, he stated that the dead people would be buried in body bags to curtail the spread of the disease.
It was reported that while the state government insists that the corpses be properly buried in a designated place, the locals and priests of “Malokun,” said to be in charge of the angry deity, believe they should be buried in an evil forest as a means of appeasing the angry god.
Meanwhile, following the fear that the mysterious disease might be the return of Ebola to the country, the Ebola Alert group had previously sent the samples from the victims to Lagos for laboratory tests.
According to the recent update, the results of the strange illness tagged as #OndoX is not Ebola virus. The samples also tested negative to five other deadly diseases.
- According to World Health Organisation (WHO), the likely cause of the mysterious deaths of at least 18 people in Ondo State last week is pesticide poisoning.
NO fewer than 12 people have died from an unknown epidemic which recently hit Ode Irele, a serene community in Irele Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dayo Adeyanju, who made this known to journalists in Akure on Wednesday, did not say when and how the disease was first noticed in the community.
He however added that four persons with fresh symptoms of the disease had been isolated at the General Hospital, Ode Irele.
According to Adeyanju, preliminary reports showed that prior to the deaths, all the victims, complained of headaches and later lost their sight before dying.
The commissioner explained that the symptoms of the epidemic were different from those of Ebola Virus Disease, which are diarrhoea, vomiting and haemorrhage.
While giving the assurance that everything possible would be done to ensure that the disease did not spread, Adeyanju said the state government had already sought the aid of the World Health Organisation and other partners.
He added that the Disease Surveillance Team and volunteers that were engaged in the state during the EVD outbreak had been activated.
Adeyanju also disclosed that the Personnel Protective Equipment purchased by the government to curtail Ebola was being used in the handling of the disease.
According to him, samples taken from the victims had been sent to Lagos State for proper investigation.
The commissioner also said the government had commenced an awareness campaign through which the public was being encouraged to report any case of the disease .
While stating that the state already had a cremation law in place, Adeyanju advised relations of the victims against burying them at home.
He warned the public against sensationalising the disease, particularly in the social media, so as not to create fears among the people.
Adeyanju’s Information counterpart, Kayode Akinmade, said the government had already contacted the Federal Ministry of Health over the disease.
A professor of infectious diseases and Chief Executive Officer, EbolaAlert, Bakare Lawal, said that samples obtained from the victims were being analysed to enable experts to determine whether the disease was bacterial or viral infections.
Meanwhile, online search vide the healthline.com reveals that the symptoms mimic those of Temporal arteritis.