No fewer than 16 persons have been confirmed dead in a fresh outbreak of the deadly viral disease, Yellow fever.
Dr Chris Achi, the Permanent Secretary Designate of the State Ministry of Health who confirmed the development to newsmen today Friday August 9th, said the outbreak occurred in Ndungele community of Izzi Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
According to Achi, the outbreak occurred since July 15, but was not reported early to the health ministry leading to the death of 16 persons before the ministry’s intervention.
“A member of the community called me one early morning to report deaths of indigenes in the community with the victims dying of same symptoms. I informed our health workers and members of the state Rapid Response Team (RRT) and when they got there, they discovered a case of yellow fever with symptoms of yellowish eyes, skin, among others.
We then moved into the community, notified the Federal Ministry of Health and National Centre for Disease Control and they have been in the state for about two weeks.
“They came with drugs, vaccines and other interventions as some of the patients who could not be managed in the community’s health centre were moved to the General Hospital Iboko.
The problem about the outbreak was that our people did not believe that they will go to the hospital when they experience this yellowness of the eyes, they believe that they can be treated with local herbs that’s why we recorded causalities which should not have been” he said
Achi added that the victims were also taken to the South East Virology Centre in Abakaliki where the samples taken further proved that they died as a result of yellow fever.
Speaking on how the disease is transmitted, Achi said it is caused by a type of mosquitoes called `Aedes Aepyti’, which is predominant in the tropics and sub-tropics.
“It is transmitted from person to person through mosquitoes although there are forest monkeys that transmit it. When the mosquitoes bite monkeys and bite someone in the forest, it will transmit the virus and if it bites another person, the transmission will continue,” he said.