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Mystery disease, which kills within 24 hours of infection, so far claims 30 in Nigeria

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Public healthMystery disease, which kills within 24 hours of infection, so far claims 30 in Nigeria

Published 21 April 2015

A “mysterious” disease which that kills patients within twenty-four hours of infection has so far claimed at least thirty lives in a south-eastern Nigerian town, the Nigerian government said. “Twenty-three people were affected and eighteen deaths were recorded,” the Ondo state health commissioner said. The World Health Organization said it had information on fourteen additional cases, of which twelve had already died. WHO doctors said that common symptoms were sudden blurred vision, headache, loss of consciousness followed by death, occurring within twenty-four hours. Laboratory tests on samples from the bodies of those who died have so far ruled out Ebola or any other virus.

A “mysterious” disease which that kills patients within twenty-four hours of infection has so far claimed at least thirty lives in a south-eastern Nigerian town, the Nigerian government said.

“Twenty-three people were affected and eighteen deaths were recorded,” the Ondo state health commissioner, Dayo Adeyanju, said on Saturday.

Earlier, the government spokesman for the state, Kayode Akinmade, reported that seventeen infected patients died within twenty-four hours of infection.

“Seventeen people have died of the mysterious disease since it broke out early this week in Ode-Irele town,” Akinmade told AFP.

The Guardian reports that the disease, the symptoms of which include headache, weight loss, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness, killed the victims within a day of falling ill.

Akinmade said that laboratory tests have so far ruled out Ebola or any other virus.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said it had information on fourteen additional cases, of which twelve had already died.

“Common symptoms were sudden blurred vision, headache, loss of consciousness followed by death, occurring within twenty-four hours,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told AFP, adding that an investigation was ongoing.

Gregory Hartl, another WHO spokesman, said that a preliminary report indicates that all those infected began showing symptoms between 13 and 15 April.

The Nigerian government said that health officials and experts from the government and aid agencies, as well as WHO epidemiologists, had arrived in Ode-Irele to test samples taken from the bodies of those who died and look for answers.

Ondo state’s health commissioner Adeyanju told the Guardian that he and his officials had gone on a “field visit with the WHO, Unicef, NCDC (Nigerian Centre for Disease Control). This was basically a case search to unravel the cause (of the disease),” he said.

WHO’s Jasarevic said blood and urine samples had been taken from two victims and cerebrospinal fluid from another.

“All samples have been sent to Lagos University Teaching Hospital this morning, and results are still pending. Investigations are still ongoing,” he said.

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