Despite the initial outbreak of the yellow fever disease detected in Ette Uno and Umuopu communities in Enugu Ezike, Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area (LGA) of Enugu, fresh cases have now sprung up within settlements in three more councils of Nsukka, Isi-Uzo and Igbo-Etiti of the state.
It would be recalled that, penultimate week, two states, Delta and Enugu confirmed outbreak of the disease in two communities each.
For Delta, it was in the Ute-Okpu and Idumuesah communities of Ika North East Local Government Area, where over 20 people died, while in Enugu, the death toll has yet to be confirmed by the authorities, though reports put the fatality figures at more than 10 in the two earlier reported communities in Igbo-Eze North council.
While the health authorities in both states have since responded to those earlier cases, the outbreak of the disease in Enugu in another three local government areas is new.
So far, Delta, Enugu and Bauchi states in the country have reported cases of Yellow fever.
On the latest outbreak in Enugu, the state Ministry of Health Rapid Response Team, LGA Rapid Response Teams, International and National Partners have already visited the affected councils of Nsukka, Isi-Uzo and Igbo-Etiti ‘to investigate the reports and take samples for testing just as was done for the reports at Igboeze North.’
According to Enugu Commissioner for Health, Dr Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi, ‘the new set of samples from these LGAs have been sent to the National Reference Laboratory at the Federal Capital Territory Abuja for a thorough and complete examination to determine conclusively the reasons for these new set of reports and the results are expected back early this week.’
While condoling with families of the victims of the Yellow fever, the commissioner urged residents to follow public health advisory which the government has already announced.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to all those who have lost loved ones in these times, and we recommend that all adhere to the following Public Health Advisory: Yellow Fever is transmitted through mosquito bites, thus remove mosquito breeding sites around your environment.
“Yellow Fever Vaccination is not for treatment of Yellow Fever, it is for prevention of Yellow Fever
“If you have been recently vaccinated against Yellow Fever, you do not need to be vaccinated again
“It takes 10 days or more for Yellow fever vaccine to start working after you have received it
“If you or your loved one are not feeling well, please visit or take your loved one to a nearby hospital for treatment
“Trained Health Workers can recognize most of the diseases of public health importance and know what to do
“Once more we thank our traditional rulers, religious leaders, president-generals of town unions, other stakeholders and the good people of Enugu State who have in so many ways continued to contribute to this expedited response to the Yellow Fever epidemic in Enugu State.”
Earlier penultimate Friday, while providing update on the mysterious deaths in Delta communities of Ika North council, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, said that some tests had been conducted to ascertain the real cause of the mysterious deaths, adding that the results of the tests returned positive for Yellow Fever disease.
According to the commissioner, 22 deaths have so far been recorded in the two communities, and not 30, as previously claimed, stressing that seven other active cases were receiving treatments in hospitals across the state.
He also hinted that the state’s health authorities were awaiting the authentication of the government’s position from the Regional Test Centre in Dakar, Senegal, in the next one month.
A similar outbreak of the Yellow fever disease in Ebonyi, early August, this year claimed the lives of two people, as confirmed by the state government, which had denied the 16 fatalities reported by the media.