NCDC commences investigation as Sokoto reports 164 cases of ‘strange disease’

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NCDC commences investigation as Sokoto reports 164 cases of ‘strange disease’
NCDC commences investigation as Sokoto reports 164 cases of ‘strange disease’

Africa-Press – Nigeria. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has launched an investigation into a mysterious illness that has surfaced in the Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

According to Jide Idris, the Director-General of the NCDC, the strange illness was first reported to the agency on March 21, 2024.

While speaking with journalists, Idris said the illness is characterized by symptoms such as abdominal distension, fever, vomiting and weight loss, primarily affecting children aged four to 13, as well as some adults.

He stated that a national rapid response team, NRRT, has been deployed by the NCDC to collaborate with the state Ministry of Health in investigating the matter.

“So far, 164 suspected cases have been identified across six wards in Isa Local Government, resulting in four tragic fatalities.

“Notably, this is not the first occurrence as a similar incident was documented in 2023. That one went without a conclusive diagnosis,” Idris stated.

He stated that although initial clinical assessments have ruled out infectious origins, investigations are ongoing, including heavy metal testing.

“Results indicate varying levels of lead and chromium in blood samples, prompting scrutiny of local activities such as mining and agricultural practices involving chemical usage.

“The collaborative efforts extend beyond health institutions, encompassing government agencies, research bodies, and community stakeholders.

“At the moment, security challenges hamper access to affected areas, complicating response efforts,” he added.

The NCDC DG encouraged vigilance within affected areas, and appealed for prompt reporting of symptoms to healthcare facilities or designated authorities.

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