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The  President of Igede National Youths Council, Mr Andyson Egbodo has reported the death of four persons with 15 others seriously ill from the suspected outbreak of a strange disease in Oye-Obi in Obi Local Government Area of Benue.

The community leader at a media  brief in Makurdi on Wednesday, identified the dead as Happiness Ogbu, Onah Ogbedu, Andy Edu and Wisdom Agwo.

Egbodo said the victims experienced headache, internal heat, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach-ache, weakness of the body and swollen stomach. Egbodo said that health authorities in Oju Local Government Area had been briefed on the development.

He said that the state government had dispatched a medical team to the area and appealed to the Benue and Federal Government to act swiftly to get the situation under control.

“We are not resting on our part in the area of mass mobilisation and awareness campaign on how to prevent its spread.

“Our investigation reveals that about 15 persons as at today, Wednesday, Jan. 29, are already down with the same symptoms, some of them have already been moved to the General Hospital, Oju,” he said. The state Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Sunday Ongbabo, confirmed the development. 

He said the ministry had dispatched a team of doctors to the area to ascertain the nature of the disease. Ongbabo said that the team was investigating the situation to find out whether it was Lassa fever and also considering other options.

“We are also in contact with the Centre for Disease Control to come to our aid to ensure that the disease was not out of control. I cannot give you the exact figure of those who have died and those currently suffering from the disease until I get report from my team, which is being led by the Director of Public Health.

“The information we got earlier indicated that three persons are currently with the disease and some others have died, but we have not gotten information from our focal person of what exactly killed them,” he said.

The commissioner, however, advised the people to remain calm as government was working hard to contain the situation.