Delta State Government, weekend, said it has unravelled the cause of deaths of over 30 youths in Ute-Okpu, Ute-Erumu and Idumesa communities in Ika North East Local Government Area of the State, saying the deaths were caused by yellow fever.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye who made the disclosure while briefing newsmen, said laboratory results of the samples collected pointed to the age long disease.
Flanked by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu and the State Director General of Orientation Bureau, Mr Eugene Uzum, Ononye however explained that the results would further be authenticated at the Reference Region Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal where the samples have also be sent to.
Hear him: “Samples were collected from patients and sent to the laboratory. We have received results and the results point to yellow fever as cause of deaths we heard of in those areas.
“The result we have received is helping to move us to a more definitive action, while we still wait a final authentication from the Reference Regional Laboratory in Dakar”.
Saying that 22 deaths have been recorded as a result of the disease, with seven additional cases being managed at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, he assured that there was no cause for alarm. Ononye said the State Government was collaborating health related agencies to step up measures to contain the spread of the disease.
He said: “We have began immediate outbreak response activities. As we speak, we have informed Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency which usually collaborate with us, and that is why they have sent teams to support us.
“We are taking definite lines of action to have an effective response. We assure residents that every thing is being done to ensure that it does not escalate.
“Before now, there was a planned yellow fever preventive campaign to begin November 20, we are moving it closer to enable us tackle what is before us,” he added.
Maintaining that yellow fever usually manifest much more bizzare symptoms than malaria, Ononye said; “some patients are with fever, body pains, headache, vomiting with or without blood. Some begin to bleed from the nose or mouth. Some of those we have just convulse and some recover very well even without coming to the hospital”.
Recall that over 30 youths between the ages of 18 and 25 had reportedly died of strange disease in Ute-Okpu, Ute-Erumu and Idumesa communities in the locality within the last three weeks. A development which prompted Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to order the State Ministry of Health to step in and unravel the strange disease.