As government and health professionals battles to control an outbreak of strange disease that has reportedly killed about 28 people in Ode-Irele community of Ondo state in the past three days, the puzzle everybody is also looking forward to be unraveled is the actual cause of ‘this strange dreaded disease’.
The mysterious disease which is reportedly spreading quickly through contacts with infected person and killing its victim within 24 hours by destroying the central nervous system of the victim, rendering him or her blind and unconscious, experts say is not Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). And the cause of it remained unknown.
According to Ondo State Health Commissioner, Dayo Adeyanju, preliminary investigations from Laboratory analysis from Lagos showed that the disease is not Ebola “as it does not manifest any of its symptoms, but it attacks the central nervous system of the victims”.
While Mr. Adeyanju has warned against spreading false information on social media concerning the strange illness, assuring that government “is doing its best to contain the disease from further spreading out of the town while those infected were being quarantined at the General Hospital, Irele, with other patients moved out of the facility”, there are still palpitations over the actual cause of the epidermic.
Tale-bearers has already gone to town that the ailment had spiritual undertone with an angry god fingered as the brain-behind it. “Community leaders said some people broke into a shrine, and the god became angry with them, striking all those people who have hands in the act,” a journalist who reportedly visited the afflicted community reported. “Our team also saw people performing rituals in the community. They believe that the ritual will appease the god and that the disease will end,” he added.
But the state’s Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, refused to collaborate or deny the claim of the spiritual dimension of the epidemic.“All I can tell you is that medical experts are on ground, attending to victims and doing all the necessary tests. Government is working hard to contain the disease, and I can tell you that it is under control,” Akinmade declared.
By Olisemeka Obeche