DELTA, Nigeria – At least 15 people have died of an unknown disease in the Ute Okpu and Idumesa communities in Ika North-East local government area of Delta State, Nigeria.
In a statement on Monday, the Delta State government said investigations have revealed that the epidemic, which started about two weeks ago, has killed numerous people in the neighbouring communities.
The local government is concerned about the mysterious deaths in both communities and has assured residents that they will do everything possible to curb the disease.
Delta State health commissioner Dr Mordi Ononye said the mysterious disease has claimed the lives of people between the ages of 18 and 25 in the past two weeks.
According to Ononye, the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has given a directive to the state ministry of health to immediately investigate the deaths, identify the cause and effect containment measures.
Ononye added that his team had visited the families of the affected people in the community, collected their samples and interviewed them.
“Though the outcome of the test on collected samples remains unknown, there is a suspicion of viral haemorrhagic fever or even drug intoxication as the reason for the casualties,” he said.
Ononye said the government’s intervention through the visit to the families was an assurance that the disease will be curbed.
Ononye further called on residents to observe good hygiene as the dry season approaches by properly covering their food and cutting the grass in their surroundings.