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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

#OndoX:Suspected Cause-Local Gin

The Minister of State for Health, Mr. Fidelis Nwankwo has debunked the rumors of unidentified disease outbreak which is attributed to 19 deaths since 15th April 2015, out of 24 reported cases. He further provided insights on the causes of illness and sudden deaths in two communities of Irele, Local Government Area (LGA) in Ondo State of Nigeria.

The Minister in his speech at a press briefing held at the conference hall of the FMOH in Abuja on Monday 20 April, also disclosed that as at the time of the briefing “no new cases have been reported in the past 100 hours and no related mortality in the last 72 hours. We therefore believe that the situation is under control”.
He also stated that preliminary epidemiological and laboratory investigations indicate that the disease is not attributed to any infectious disease.
According to the Minister, “epidemiological findings indicate a strong linkage of the outbreak with the consumption of local gin that might have been contaminated with methanol”. He however added that laboratory investigation is ongoing.
Mr. Nwankwo requested the journalists to use their media outfits to create more awareness and encourage the public to remain calm but vigilant and continue to report any events of public health concern to the nearest health authorities.
Also speaking at the press briefing, the WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr Rui Gama Vaz commended the Ondo state government for the rapid response and the immediate deployment of its epidemiological structure to investigate and mitigate the situation.

 Ondo state health commissioner Dayo Adeyanju said authorities "strongly suspect ethanol poisoning" and have ordered another toxicology test for the surviving victims.
"Our investigations revealed that five of the victims took local gin mixed with herbs," Mr Adeyanju said.
"Three of them died while the other two have been put under close observation."
Preliminary investigations ruled out viral or Ebola infection for the outbreak of the mysterious illness in the south-western town of Ode-Irele on April 15.
A total 23 people were affected, and 18 died.

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