Following the mayhem that has beleaguered the people of Ode-Irele in Ondo state as a result of an outbreak of a mysterious disease, the state government has urged people to stay calm as an element of good news has been reported.
According to the Ondo state government, the strange disease that has killed 18 people since its outbreak on April 15 in Ode-Irele, Irele local government area of the state, is not contagious, Leadership reports.
The state commissioner for health, Dr Dayo Adeyanju, made the declaration on Sunday, April 20, in Akure, while addressing newsmen.
According to Adeyanju, the findings from post-mortems carried out on the victims and other laboratory tests revealed that the disease was neither epidemic nor contagious.
He said the preliminary report shows that ethanol poison mixed with roots was found in the systems of all the victims.
Adeyanju said, “Our investigations have also revealed that the victims, who, interestingly, were all Okada riders, gathered at some local joints to consume alcoholic substance mixed with roots and some other local herbs on the eve of the outbreak of the disease.
“I can assure you that the disease is in no way contagious. The fact that none of the caregivers has contracted the disease has greatly underscored this point.”
“Therefore, the fear of spread does not arise and should be discouraged. We strongly suspect ethanol poison, and in view of this, we have ordered for another toxicology test for surviving victims,” Adeyanju said.
Adeyanju, who said that there had been no reports of new cases in the last three days, explained further that 23 people were affected in all, out of which 18 lost their lives.
The commissioner disclosed that the five survivors, who have currently gone blind, have been referred to the University Teaching Hospital, (UCH) in Ibadan for further examination and monitoring.
Adeyanju said he would not join issue with traditionalists who believe that the outbreak of the disease was due to an angry god from whose shrines some youths were said to have gone to steal.
According to the commissioner, his job goes beyond explaining the god’s action as he was expected to back up his claims with available evidence.
However, he stated that the dead people would be buried in body bags to curtail the spread of the disease.
It was reported that while the state government insists that the corpses be properly buried in a designated place, the locals and priests of “Malokun,” said to be in charge of the angry deity, believe they should be buried in an evil forest as a means of appeasing the angry god.
Meanwhile, following the fear that the mysterious disease might be the return of Ebola to the country, the Ebola Alert group had previously sent the samples from the victims to Lagos for laboratory tests.
According to the recent update, the results of the strange illness tagged as #OndoX is not Ebola virus. The samples also tested negative to five other deadly diseases.