No less than 57 people have died mysteriously in Enugu state and now there are fears that the may be connected to COVID-19.
The Nation reports that the state government has sent samples to the National Reference Laboratory for investigation.
At least, 57 strange deaths occurred in Ette Uno and Umuopu communities of Enugu Ezike in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area (LGA).
Commissioner for Health, Dr Emmanuel Obi, added that his ministry’s Rapid Response Team visited Council.
“On-the-spot-check and outbreak investigation has revealed a number of deaths from an illness with symptoms suggestive of a disease of public health importance,” the commissioner said.
Obi said the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been informed.
The strange disease was first noticed in early September and has so far claimed 57 lives.
It was first noticed in Ette Uno community where it claimed 37 lives and spread to neighbouring Umuopu, leaving 20 casualties.
According to the Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer of the council, Vincent Oshomi, the victims presented symptoms such as convulsion, diarrhoea and vomiting of blood.
He said the Ministry of Health has stationed an ambulance in the area for conveying suspected cases to the hospital for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Oshomi said: “Between September and now, at least 37 persons have died at Ette community.
‘Also, Umuopu community, which shares a common boundary with Ette, has recorded 20 deaths. It has been a strange development.
“I have officially informed the Ministry of Health and investigation is ongoing to unravel the cause of the deaths.
“We have collected samples of affected persons and we are looking out for Lassa fever, cholera, yellow fever and meningitis. Coronavirus test will equally start in the affected communities.”
Within the last two weeks in Delta State, no fewer than 15 persons died, following the outbreak of suspected hemorrhagic fever in Ute Okpu and Idumesa communities in the Ika North East LGA, the government said.
It said the outcome of the samples collected by the Ministry of Health would give a clear indication of the disease and determine the next line of actions
Delta Health Commissioner, Dr Mordi Ononye, said the state government had constituted a team to unravel the mysterious disease.
In June, the Federal Government said investigation suggested that between 50 to 60 per cent of the over 900 strange deaths that occurred in Kano State may have been triggered by or are due to COVID-19.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had said: “Concerning unexplained deaths in Kano which occurred in April, the team confirmed from graveyard records that a total of 979 deaths were recorded in eight municipal LGA in the state at a rate of 43 deaths per day, with a peak in the second week of April.
“By the beginning of May, the death rate had reduced to the 11 deaths per day it used to be.
“The verbal autopsy revealed that about 56 per cent of deaths had occurred at home while 38 per cent were in a hospital.”