Following the outbreak of the yet-to-be-identified disease in Irele, Ondo State, our medical team decided to go on a fact-finding mission to Irele General Hospital.
According to the medical doctor overseeing activities in the hospital, Dr. Sanni A.A, 5 patients were admitted with symptoms including headache, passage of loose stool, sudden onset blindness, difficulty with speaking and hearing. On examination, all the patients were said to have elevated blood pressure and signs suggestive of raised intracranial pressure.
All the admitted patients are males, middle-aged, and all developed the illness at about the same time.
2 of the admitted patients died while the remaining 3 insisted on being discharged against medical advice. They eventually left the hospital on the 15th of April. Following their exit, unconfirmed reports have it that one of them died at home.
Dr. Sanni also talked about rumours of other mortalities within the town and that efforts are currently being made to collate the actual number of casualties.
From our interaction with the medical team in the hospital, there is speculation that a seed (yet to be identified) probably consumed by the victims could have resulted in symptoms indicative of poisoning.
Blood and CSF samples were taken from the victims that presented at the hospital and have been sent to LUTH for comprehensive assays.
Personally, my conclusion following our trip to Irele General Hospital is that it is not likely that a contagious disease is on the break although one can never say never!
Furthermore, the signs and symptoms of the admitted patients are not entirely in keeping with those of Ebola Virus Disease and other ailments in the Viral Haemorrhagic Fever spectrum. However, definitive conclusions can be made once the investigation results are available.
In conclusion, the calm observed in the town is not reminiscent of the looming disaster we heard about before setting out.
Dr. Soyombo Ayomikun
Omotosho Electric Energy Co. Ltd
Dr Soyombo tweets from @alabaster85
Credits: Mrs Agagu O.F., Dr. Sanni A.A