FG ‘investigating strange illness in Benue’


Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is aware of the strange illness in Benue and it is currently investigating to effectively manage the situation.
Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC, told newsmen at the weekend in Abuja, while giving an update of the strange illness in Benue State.
The Senate had alerted Nigerians that a strange disease has hit Benue, killing 15 persons already, with about 104 already seriously infected.
The Senate suspected that the outbreak may be coronavirus epidemic, which it said required urgent health measures to identify.
The Senate revealed that the outbreak of the strange disease occurred on January 29 in Oye, Obi Local Government Area of Benue.
Ihekweazu said samples tested at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, came out to be negative for major Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs).
VHFs are a group of illnesses caused by four families of viruses: These included the Ebola and Marburg, Lassa fever, and yellow fever viruses.
He disclosed that water sample was sent to the Federal Ministry of Water for further analysis and investigation into the illness.
Ihekweazu urged Nigerians to keep their environments clean and store food in tight containers to avoid contact with rats.
He, however, called on health workers to maintain a high index of suspicion for the disease.
Ihekweazu stated that Lassa fever could be treated if reported early.
“If a patient does not respond to treatment for malaria or other febrile illnesses after 48 hours, it is important to immediately test for Lassa fever,” he said.

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