For the past couple of weeks there have been repeated reports of a fatal disease outbreak in Kwara State, Nigeria (see FluTrackers thread Oro-Ago, Nigeria: Questionable report of dozens of deaths due to undiagnosed hemorrhagic illness).
While first thought to be Lassa fever, the outbreak was dismissed as a rumor by the local government (see Kwara Government Denies Disease Outbreak in Oro Ago Community) last week. According to the government press release of August 11th:
The State’s Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Suleiman Alege, on Friday told newsmen in Ilorin, that the report is a mere rumor as the ministry has no confirmed outbreak of disease fatalities in any part of the state.Fast forward to last night and Pathfinder at FluTrackers has picked up fresh reports (see Nigeria - Mysterious illness kills 62 in Kogi) from the neighboring state of Kogi of a very similar sounding outbreak.
As is often the case, media reports don't always align, and official government reports are slow to emerge. Typical of what is being reported, this comes from Channels Television :
Nigeria: 50 Killed As Disease Hits Kogi, KwaraAn unknown illness has thrown many families in Kogi State into mourning and left health authorities with a puzzle to solve.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, told Channels Television that so far, 62 people have been killed by the illness which was initially thought to have been Lassa fever by many people.
This is because it has some symptoms that are similar to Lassa fever such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
The worst hit community is Okoloke in Yagba West Local Government Area of the state. Other areas are Okunran and Isanlu-Esa – both villages in Yagba West LGA.
With over 60 people dead and Lassa fever ruled out as a cause, the government has taken samples of the disease and is hoping to identify the illness as quickly as possible to prevent more deaths, according to the commissioner.
Unlike Kwara State, the Kogi government appears to have acknowledged they have an outbreak. This much more detailed report comes from AllAfrica.com.
Nigeria: 50 Killed As Disease Hits Kogi, Kwara
By Itodo Daniel Sule, Romoke Ahmad and Akor Ojoma
At least 50 people have been killed in the last three weeks by a yet-to-be ascertained ailment in three communities in Kogi State, the state government announced yesterday.
The affected communities are Okunran, Okoloke and Isanlu-Esa all in Yagba West local government area of the state, according to the state health commissioner Dr Saka Audu.
Authorities in neighbouring Kwara State are also investigating reports of an outbreak which allegedly claimed some lives in Oro-Ago community in Ifelodun local government area of the state.
The Oloro of Oro-Ago, Oba Tafa Dada and the President of Oro-Ago Development Union, Mr Olaniyi Olushola raised the alarm of the strange illness that hit some members of the community, especially the herders which they said claimed many lives.
But Dr Audu confirmed yesterday during a visit to the affected communities to assess the health situation, saying a technical team was earlier sent to take samples which were sent to General Hospital Irua, Edo State, for investigation.
"We are here to make sure we determine the cause of these mysterious deaths and then quickly proffer a solution to it," he said.
(Continue . . . )
Although I'll follow up when more is known, you'll get your most complete day-to-day coverage from the newshounds at FluTrackers.