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Ndokwa Vanguard

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NCDC confirms outbreak of strange disease in Sokoto

Apr 10, 2024

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has confirmed the outbreak of a strange disease in Sokoto. 

Confirming the incident, the Director General of the agency, Dr Jide Idris, said a total of 164 suspected cases have been identified in six (6) wards of Isa local government area in the following wards: Bargaja (22), Isa North (17), Isa South (98), Tozai (12), Tsabre (4), and Turba (11). Four deaths have been recorded among the suspected cases.

Idris said Sokoto State Ministry of Health on March 21, 2024, reported cases of children presenting with symptoms which include abdominal distension due to rapid onset of fluids in the abdomen (ascites), fever, vomiting and weight loss from Isa LGA of Sokoto State.

The NCDC DG said; 

“Most of these cases are children aged 4 – 13 years, including some adults. The patients came from different wards and settlements across the LGA.”

Idris said the NCDC deployed a National Rapid Response Team (NRRT) to work with the State Ministry of Health to further investigate and respond to this incident.

While saying that a similar incident was previously documented in 2023, also without a definitive diagnosis, he added that two suspected cases are receiving care in Uthman Dan Fodio University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) in Sokoto, and one case was discharged on account of improved symptoms.

He said, “Four (4) other suspected cases are also on admission at the Isa General Hospital, while about 130 cases are also receiving care either within the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) or home care in the affected LGA.”

The NCDC director general said initial clinical assessment and investigations of the cases admitted at the teaching hospital ruled out an infectious origin of the event, necessitating the need to search for other causes, including heavy metal testing.

Results of the initial test for heavy metals for the index and first few suspected cases revealed different blood levels of lead (Pb) and Chromium (Cr).

The results of the test received yesterday showed high levels of lead in the blood of the affected cases, adding that other tests were still being carried out to determine the disease. Members of the affected and nearby communities have been asked to be vigilant and report anyone presenting with the stated symptoms to the nearest health facilities or call the NCDC toll-free line.

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