A strange disease, whose symptoms include diarrhea, bloodstained vomiting and high fever has killed 50 people at several villages in Kogi state, Nigeria recently.
According to a medical consultant at ECWA Hospital Dr. Jannette Hathorn; “We initially suspected Lassa Fever after getting some misleading reports about people bleeding around, so we made a diagnosis for viral hemorrhagic fever (lassa fever), but the result was negative,”
“We are sure it is not Lassa fever; but our concern is that we do not know exactly what is happening. We have not arrived at a definitive diagnosis.”
“Two adult patients were also brought here; one showed symptoms of ulcer-viral illness, but there was no bleeding component of any haemorrhagic symptom.”
“We isolated them and both of them were treated for malaria. When they started improving, we let them go.”
“Another parent brought a child to the hospital and pleaded for help. He said that 50 people had died in their village with similar symptoms of bloodstained vomiting, diarrhea and fever.”
“When the child died, we called the World Health Organisation (WHO). Yesterday (Wednesday), their officials came and took samples of everything; we must know exactly what we are dealing with,” she said.
Meanwhile a visit by a government commissioned team to the area described the situation as “serious.”