May 20, 2024

Thirteen persons have been reported dead following a strange disease that broke out in some communities in Zamfara State.

Inside Arewa gathered that the disease affects mostly children and women.

A source told our reporter that findings from hospitals and government indicated that a total of 505 cases were recorded across Maradun, Shinkafi and Gusau local government areas in the state.

The source also explained that the disease had spread to Isa and Zurmi LGAs of Sokoto and Zamfara states, saying that the outbreak was first detected in Tsibiri village in Maradun LGA in February, this year.

He said, “Tsibiri had been contending with the ailment since. As of Sunday, May 12, 2024, there were four reported deaths, with 228 cases, and 10 patients referred to the Shehu Shagari Disease Control Centre in Gusau due to complications.”

He added that most patients with minor complications have received treatment and have been discharged from the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Tsibiri.

In Shinkafi LGA, he stated that it was gathered that the disease was detected in Galadi village in April, following complaints of severe fever and abdominal disorders, pointing out that a medical staff member at the PHC in Shinkafi confirmed six deaths out of over 100 cases recorded, with over 60 patients with serious complications referred to the Shehu Shagari Disease Control Centre.

He said that the disease appears to be spreading, with cases emerging in neighbouring areas, raising concerns about its containment, appealing to the governments of Sokoto and Zamfara states to deploy more medical experts to the affected areas to address the situation before the disease escalated to other communities.

He expressed concern that while the disease had not yet reached Maradun town, proactive measures must be taken by the government to prevent its escalation, stressing that the ongoing prevalence of banditry added another layer of risk, noting that the Maradun General Hospital was vulnerable due to its proximity to the bandits’ enclave.

Salisu said such circumstances could deter residents from seeking medical attention out of fear of attacks by the bandits.

The Zamfara State Government earlier confirmed the outbreak of the strange disease in Maradun, Shinkafi and Gusau LGAs.

Aisha Anka, the state’s Commissioner for Health, said the illness was characterised by abdominal distension, fluid accumulation, enlarged liver and spleen, fever and weakness due to contaminated water consumption.

The state government, according to her, reported the incident to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and was actively engaged in emergency response measures to identify the cause and contain the outbreak.

She added that samples had been sent to laboratories in Lagos and Abuja.

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