Enugu State Government has confirmed incidences of unusual deaths in two communities of Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Emmanuel Obi made the confirmation in a statement on Thursday in Enugu. Obi said that there had been a number of deaths suggestive of a disease of public health importance in the area. The communities are Ette Uno and Umuopu of Enugu Ezike.
The commissioner said that the State Ministry of Health had collected samples from patients and sent to the National Reference Laboratory for investigation.
“On-the-spot-check and outbreak investigation has revealed a number of deaths from an illness which symptoms are suggestive of a disease of public health importance.
“The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been informed and is collaborating with the ministry to investigate and control the reports,” he said.
Obi urged members of the public not to panic as the ministry was handling the emergency.
When contacted, the council Chairman, Mr Williams Ejike, said the unusual deaths were noticed in the two communities in October.
Ejike however, said that the people of the area had until early November thought that the deaths were normal. “Two days ago they said we should send samples of those that are sick or got in contact with the disease.
“Yesterday, they called me and said that they are suspecting Lassa Fever and the state government sent an ambulance to take the people to the treatment center in Abakaliki,” he said.
The chairman said that contrary to the information that no fewer than 57 persons had died,” there is no confirmed number yet.”
Ejike said that the council had arranged for a stakeholder meeting with the officials of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the state health ministry to sensitise the people of the area.