No fewer than 15 persons have died following the outbreak of yellow fever in Iboko community of Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The disease also affected unconfirmed number of persons, who were said to be currently receiving treatment at the Virology Centre in Abakaliki, the state capital, and Iboko General Hospital in Izzi local government.
It was learnt that the viral infection had been discovered in the state since July 15, 2019 before the information got to the state Ministry of health, which quickly swung into action to stop its further spread to other parts of the state.
The Permanent Secretary in the state, Ministry of Health, Dr Chris Achi, confirmed the death of the 15 persons to journalists in Abakaliki on Friday.
He said the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control had been alerted and had already responded to ensure there was no recurrence.
Achi regretted the death of the 15 persons, noting that such deaths were avoidable if the victims had not patronised quacks and had not used herbs for treatment.
He appealed to residents to always access the health facilities located in their areas.
He said a mosquito called ‘aedes’ currently transmits the virus to human beings, adding that it had three to six days incubation period in human body.
He said, “We appreciate the community’s early information to the authority, especially when they noticed that there was an unusual happening. We have always insisted that people should make use of our health facilities in the 171 political wards of the state.
“Incidentally, on July 15, somebody called me from one of the villages in Izzi LGA that with the way people were dying in the village he suspected that something might be wrong. I called health workers there who said no such case came to their clinic.
“But the problem about the outbreak was that our people did not believe that they should go to hospital when they experience the yellowness of their eyes. They believe that they can be treated with local herbs. That is why we recorded casualties which should not have been.”
Culled from Punch