The death toll from a mysterious disease ravaging Ute Okpu, Ute Erumu and Idumusa communities in the Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State has risen to over 30.
The state government had at the weekend raised the alarm over the death of 15 youths within the age bracket of 18 to 25 in two of the communities of suspected haemorrhagic fever or substance abuse.
Findings revealed that some of the victims vomited blood before passing away, while others complained of general fatigue, headache and fever before they died at home and in hospital.
Mrs Monica Emeke, who lost two of her children, a 26-year-old man and a 21-year-old lady, told PUNCH Metro that the strange ailment claimed five lives in the Ute Okpu community in one day.
Our correspondent gathered that several deaths had been recorded in neighbouring villages, including Ute Erumu.
The state government has, however, assured the residents of the affected areas that it is doing everything possible to curb the disease.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, gave the assurance when he led a team of public health officials to Ute Okpu with a view to unravelling the mysterious disease.
He called on members of the community and residents of the state to observe good hygiene as the dry season approaches by properly covering their food, cutting grasses around their surroundings, eliminating rats in their homes and continuing to observe COVID-19 safety guidelines, especially hand washing with soap and running water.
Residents of the communities were in shock as of the time our correspondent visited on Wednesday.
As of the time of filing this report, the state government was awaiting the results of the tests conducted on samples collected from the victims.
Speaking at the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, Ononye said, “The Delta State Government has received information on seemingly mysterious deaths in Ute Okpu and Idumesa communities of the Ika North East Local Government Area of the state, which prompted the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to direct the state Ministry of Health to immediately investigate these deaths, identify the cause/causes and effect containment measures.”
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