The Delta State Government on Friday revealed the cause of the sickness which has claimed more than 15 lives in Ute-Okpu, Ute-Erumu and Idumuesah communities in Ika North-East Local Government Area of the state.
NewsNet had early Friday reported that contrary to speculations that the strange deaths may not be far from Covid-19 or Lassa fever, the deaths according to dependable sources who do not want their names mentioned are as a result of yellow fever.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, who addressed newsmen alongside the Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu and Director-General, Orientation Bureau, Eugene Uzum, said results from a series of laboratory tests following samples collected from some of the victims showed that the said strange disease was yellow fever.
Ononye disclosed that the state government had also sent samples to the Reference Region Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal, for further confirmation of the cause of the deaths adding that the results of the samples sent are expected in the next two weeks.
“Samples were collected from patients and sent to the laboratory. We have received results and the results point to yellow fever as the 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.
“We have began immediate outbreak response activities. As we speak, we have informed Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 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 everything 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 to tackle what is before us,” he added.
On the symptoms of the disease, Dr Ononye said yellow fever usually manifest much more bizarre symptoms than malaria.
“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,” Ononye explained.