An outbreak of a strange disease in Dungurawa community, Dawakin Tofa local government area of Kano state has killed at least 10 people mostly children below the age of Nine, Kano Chronicle can report.
Our reporters gathered that the outbreak, which started about two weeks ago, has also left six others in a critical condition at Bichi General Hospital, in Bichi local government area.
Some of the residents who spoke to Kano Chronicle, described the outbreak as a terrible experience, saying the disease kills very swiftly with little or no early symptoms.
Malam Suleiman Musa Tafida lost three children at the wake of the disease’s outbreak, he said the common symptoms of the disease include running temperature, fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
“I lost three children, 2 males and a female to this strange disease within nine days; the first, a 3-year-old male child died on 16th of this month, two days later another one died and on the 25th my 12 year-old daughter also passed on,” he said.
He said all the three children showed signs thought to be malaria and were rushed to the hospital for treatment before they eventually passed away.
“The first one started with running temperature which we thought was malaria and we took him to the hospital where he died and the same thing happened with the second child. It was the last one that suffered from vomiting and diarrhea,” Tafida said.
When our reporters visited the community yesterday, they discovered that a contingent of health workers has been mobilized to the village by the state government with a view to diagnosing and stopping the disease from spreading to other communities.
The disease which remains a mystery in the community has put a serious fears in the minds of the villagers hence their massive turnout for medical checkup.
Another resident, Bashir Dalha, whose daughter contracted the disease said in the beginning he suspected the case to be cerebrospinal meningitis until it was later observed otherwise.
He said, “The girl started with complains of fever, one day after her voice ceased and we thought it was cerebrospinal meningitis and thus rushed to the nearby chemist. However, three days after, it was observed that she was not responding to treatment hence she was rushed to hospital in Dawakin Tofa where she is currently responding to treatment.”
A source close to the medical team deployed to the affected community said a bigger team of experts from the state ministry of health was expected to visit the village for further investigation on the ailment.
He added that the medical team drafted to the community had not been able to establish the real cause of deaths in the village, saying most of the villagers were tested negative of malaria which was the initial suspected cause of the casualties.
“We are carrying out rapid diagnostic test to establish the real cause of the disease but up till now we have not been able to identify the issue. Initially we thought it was malaria because of mosquitoes but majority of those we have tested were found negative of malaria,” he said.
The Village Head of the affected community, Malam Umar Sulaiman stated that, when he realised that the situation was going out of hand, he reported the issue to the ward head who in turned notified the local government’s health authorities.
Sulaiman lamented that when the death toll reached 10 within a short period, the strange ailment became a source of worry not only to the affected community, but to the government as well.
“As leaders in the community I have to report the issue to our superiors who in turn informed the health officials of the local government. We must commend the local government’s health officials for their rapid respond to the issue. A team of medical experts was sent to our village with enough drugs to control the situation.
“The outcome of the surveillance teams on the strange ailment is yet to be made public,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kano state ministry of health has confirmed the outbreak of the disease.
According to press statement signed by ministry’s spokesman Malam Ismail Garba Gwammaja, the state government had already swung into action to arrest further escalation of the disease.
The statement indicated that government has drafted an Emergency Rapid Response team which includes doctors, pharmacists, laboratory scientist and disease surveillance as well as notification officers to the affected area to carry out in-depth investigation on the cause of the problem.
“Government has supplied emergency drugs and other kits to the affected community to tackle the situation promptly” Gwammaja added.
The Guardian News