Mysterious Illness: Sokoto Records 8 Deaths

No fewer than eight deaths and 208 suspected cases related to a mysterious illness have been recorded in Sokoto State, an official has disclosed.

Dr Ibrahim Usman, Center Manager of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Sokoto made this known in his presentation during an interactive session with officials of Sokoto State Ministry of Health and NCDC Director General, Dr Jide Idris, alongside his team on Thursday in Sokoto.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the incident occurred at Sabon Birni and Isa local government areas of the state.

Usman said prompt control measures were ensured by the NCDC and Sokoto State Government as samples were transported to higher laboratories for test to ascertain the disease.

“The illness manifested with symptoms such as abdominal distension, fever, vomiting and weight loss, primarily afflicting children aged four to 13, along with some adults.

“Already, the NCDC has deployed a National Rapid Response Team (NRRT), to collaborate with the State Ministry of Health to investigate the matter,” Usman said.

He added that the affected children were taken to Specialist Hospital in Sokoto for treatment, while residents of the affected areas were sensitised on the dangers of the mysterious illness and advised to report cases promptly.

According to him, interim 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.

Earlier, Dr Larai Tambuwal, Executive Secretary, Sokoto State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (SSPHCDA) told the visiting team that complications from agricultural practices was being suspected.

The Executive Director of Sokoto State Hospital Services Management Board, Dr Bello Attahiru, assured of more proactive measures to contain the disease and treatment of those infected.