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NCDC investigates mysterious illness in 3 Northern states

by Haruna Gimba
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By Iyemah David

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has launched a continuous investigation over a ‘mysterious’ illness that surfaced in Kaduna, Sokoto and Zamfara states.

The NCDC, via its official website confirmed its active involvement in analysing samples from affected individuals to determine the cause of the unusual health issue.

The public health agency disclosed that 196 cases have so far been reported in Isa, Sabon Birni, and Ilella local government areas of Sokoto State, resulting in seven deaths.

It added that “samples have been sent to sister laboratories for further analysis.

“Reports of similar cases in Zamfara also prompted the dispatch of a National Rapid Response Team (NRRT) to assess and provide support.

“Residents, especially in Kaduna State, are urged to promptly report symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and weight loss.”

The NCDC stated that suspected heavy metal poisoning linked to mining activities also raised concerns about environmental contamination.

“Exposure to heavy metals poses severe health risks, necessitating preventative measures such as avoiding direct exposure to dust and soil and enforcing safety standards in mining operations,” it said.

The centre, therefore, reaffirmed commitment to collaborate with affected states to provide timely updates to the public.

In a separate report, the Sokoto State government confirmed 35 cases of Ascites disease in Isa Local Government Area, expressing disappointment at the lack of communication from health stakeholders in the area.

Ascites, characterised by fluid accumulation in the abdomen, is not infectious but can result from underlying medical conditions such as liver cirrhosis or heart failure.

Treatment options include diuretics, paracentesis, shunts, or surgical interventions like liver transplant for severe cases.

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