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The death toll from the mysterious disease ravaging Ute Okpu and Idumusa communities in Ika northeast of Delta State has risen to over 30.

The state government last weekend raised alarm of the death of 15 youths within the age bracket of 18 to 25 years old in the two communities suspected hemorrhagic fever, or substance abuse as likely cause of the death.

Investigation revealed that some of the victims vomited blood before giving up ghost while others complained of general fatigue, headache and feverish condition before dying either at home, before getting to or in the hospital.

A mother, Mrs Monica Emeke who lost two of his children (a boy26 and girl 22) to the unidentified ailment at Ute Okpu expressed worry over the rate at which death was occurring as five persons died in one day in the community.

Other persons said several deaths have been recorded in neighbouring villages including Ute Erunu.

The state government has however assured residents in the area that everything possible was being done to curb the disease.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye gave the assurance when he led a team of public health officials to Ute Okpu with a view to unravel the mysterious disease.

Speaking at the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, Dr Ononye said:

“Delta State Government has received information on seemingly mysterious deaths in Ute Okpu and Idumesa communities of Ika North East Local Government Area of the State which prompted the Governor, His Excellency, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, to direct the State Ministry of Health to immediately investigate these deaths, identify the cause/causes and effective containment measures.”

He called on members of the community and residents of the State to observe good hygiene as the dry season approaches by properly covering their food, cutting grasses around their surroundings, eliminate rats in their houses and continue to observe the COVID-19 safety guidelines especially handwashing with soap and running water.

According to him, Gov Okowa has directed the Comprehensive Health Center in Ute -Okpu is upgraded to a full-fledged Hospital.




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