21 Apr 2015

Ondo strange disease linked to poisonous local gin 'Ogogoro'

The death of the 18 people in Ondo State in a mysterious circumstance has been linked to a local gin, otherwise known as ‘Ogogoro,’ that was contaminated with poisonous material (methanol).

The Minister of State for Health, Fidelis Nwankwo, stated this at a media briefing in Abuja, monday.


He said: “At this stage, the particular poisonous substance (toxin) is being ascertained. The results of these detailed investigations currently being conducted by government and partners are still being awaited and will be made public as soon as possible.”
Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has denied ever issuing any statement on the mysterious deaths.
According to the minister, “Epidemiological findings indicate a strong linkage of the outbreak with the consumption of a local gin that may have been contaminated with methanol (poisonous material).

“The assuring news however, is that no new cases have been reported in the past 100 hours and no new mortality in the last 72 hours.

“We therefore believe that the situation is under control and that the stability will be sustained, while active case search and contact tracing continue in earnest.

“However, if any suspected case is found, it should be reported to the nearest health centre for prompt investigation and treatment.”
While noting that preliminary laboratory investigations indicated that the outbreak cannot be attributed to any infectious organism (bacterial or viral), Nwankwo further said the outbreak was also clearly not due to Ebola Virus Disease, as feared by many.

The minister assured the public that the federal government shall continue to exercise diligence to prevent its re-occurrence or that of any other public health risks in any part of the country and that the government shall ensure rapid response to any events of public health concern which the system in place timely detects.

Nigerians have therefore been enjoined to remain calm but very vigilant and to report any events of public health concern to the nearest health facility or health authorities.

He further advised that people should not panic or take any action inimical to their comfort, well-being or business based on false information or rumour.

Credit: Paul Ob/ThisDay

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