Ondo State – Credit Wikipedia
In response to reports of a `Mystery Illness’ in Ondo State, Nigeria (see yesterday’s Reports Of An Unidentified, Rapidly Fatal Illness In Ondo, Nigeria), the Ondo State Ministry of Health has activated an Emergency Situation Room.
Depending on which media report you read, anywhere between 12 and 28 people have died suddenly over the past 72 hours, all within hours of experiencing sudden blindness and facial swelling.
The symptoms are not typical of Hemorrhagic fevers like Ebola or Marburg, and may even be related to a toxin or poison exposure, rather than an infectious disease. There is too little information to hazard a guess, but hopefully we’ll get some definitive answers in the next couple of days.
In the meantime - while it doesn’t tell us anything about the illness itself - here is a statement from the Ondo State MOH on their emergency response.
Furtherance to the effort at containing the spread of the yet to be identified strange illness within Ode Irele, a Situation Room has been setup by the state government to coordinate with the emergency response task teams now working from the frontlines.
The task teams are:
1. Contact Tracing Committee - the committee is already tracing and establishing contacts with those already exposed to patients or dead bodies and monitoring them for possible manifestation of any of the symptoms.
2. Case Management Committee - this is made up of health personnel and volunteers already trained to attend to medical emergencies of this nature, they are to ensure safe and proper management of new and existing cases of the illness. They are required to also train health workers in Irele.
3. Laboratory/Forensic Committee - to establish the etiological/causative agent for the strange illness and ensure safe disposal of corpses.
4. Community Education & Mobilization Committee - intensify mass education and sensitization of the community and the state in a way that will not constitute public health hazard.
5. Print, Electronic & Social Media Sensitization Committee - to make progress report of unfolding developments available in a timely manner to the world to dispel rumours that may lead to widespread panic and fear.
These and other measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of lives of our dear people of Irele. Let us continue to exercise calm and caution and eschew fear mongering as there is manifest evidence that the situation is being contained.
In case of any suspected case, contact: WHO 08033720966, LGA DSNO – 08112524793 and the State Epidemiologist - 08062078384
Dr. Dayo Adeyanju
State Commissioner for Health