No fewer than 40 people have died of a strange disease in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Three residents on Thursday said that the deaths were recorded from across three communities — Umuokpu, Ete and Ogwurugwu — in the last one month, TheCable reports.
Cause of the death is not immediately clear, but the residents said victims were mostly youth and reported weakness, fever and headache before passing on.
State Commissioner for Health, Emmanuel Obi, did not respond to calls made by TheCable, while Louis Amoke, spokesperson to the governor, said he could not confirm the incident.
An official at the local government, who pleaded anonymity, as he is not authorised to talk to the media, told TheCable they had just received reports of strange deaths from the communities but added that the cause is not known yet.
‘THEY BECOME WEAK AND SUDDENLY DIE’
Onoja Boniface, a resident of Umuokpu, told TheCable via phone that at least five people have died from the community while Ete, where the development started, has recorded “more than 40 deaths.”
According to him, “It started more than a month ago from Uni Ete, a village in Ete which has common boundary with Umuokpu. There were deaths of youths who might just have headache and before you rush them to hospital, they have died. Sometimes they vomit and die.
“Three days ago, in Ogwurugwu, a young man in the night complained of fever and before he was taken to the hospital, he stopped talking and the next thing, he died. Most of them are reporting fever, headache and weakness.
“My friend in Igogoro also told me about a lady who left Umuokpu and on reaching Igogoro, she started developing symptoms the same day and died.”
He added that there are rare cases of two people dying from the same community as “those dying are from different areas.”
Solomon Onu, a resident and convener of Concerned Igbo-Eze North Youths (CINY), also told TheCable that the communities had suspected a deity when the deaths began but now fear the existence of an unknown disease.
He said, “Why people are raising now and not since is because we were initially attributing it to a deity but now, it has transferred to Umuokpu which has a border with Ete.
“We are suspecting some kind of diseases because with the way they are dying, it has come from Ete and Umuokpu and both have the same border while another.”
In a statement earlier issued on Wednesday, CINY lamented that health authorities “have not taken control of the situation as at the moment.
“We, therefore seize this opportunity to urgently call on Igbo-Eze North Supervisory Councillor for Health, the Executive Chairman and Enugu State Ministry of Health to come to the rescue of our people whose lives are being threatened, to stem the spread before further deaths ensue.”
When TheCable contacted Obioma Ogiri, the LGA public relations officer, she said she was busy and could not comment on the situation.
A message was later sent to her but no response yet.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has yet to respond to questions about the strange disease.