At least 18 people have been killed in a southeastern Nigerian town due to a “mysterious” disease which kills in less than 24 hours, government says.
“Twenty-three people (were affected) and 18 deaths were recorded,” AFP quoted the Ondo state health commissioner, Dayo Adeyanju, as saying on Saturday.
Earlier in the day a government spokesman, Kayode Akinmade, had put the number of casualties at 17, saying that the mysterious disease broke out early this week in Ode-Irele town.
Akinmad added that all the victims perished within a day of falling ill and that Ebola or any other known virus has so far been ruled out as the cause by Laboratory tests, noting, “There is no patient of the disease in any hospital and the disease has not spread beyond the town.”
He added that apart from government experts and health officials, World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologists had also arrived in the town for further investigation.
WHO has confirmed having information on 14 cases and 12 deaths.
“Common symptoms were sudden blurred vision, headache, loss of consciousness followed by death, occurring within 24 hours,” said WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic, adding that an investigation was currently underway.
Urine, blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples had been taken from victims, he added. “All samples have been sent to Lagos University Teaching Hospital this morning, and results are still pending. Investigations are still ongoing”
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