Yellow Fever: Death toll hits 133 as disease spreads to more communities in Enugu

The state Health Commissioner Professor Ikechukwu Obi made the disclosure in a statement Sunday in Enugu.

Despite the spraying of the Ette and Umuopu communities in the Igbo-Eze North local government area of ​​Enugu state against yellow fever by the state government and the ongoing immunization against the disease in some local government areas in the state, the death toll has reached 133.

Some 57 victims lost their lives in the Ette and Umuopu communities initially before the federal and state governments flooded the areas with yellow fever vaccines.

In the past two weeks, healthcare workers have been working around the clock to reduce the spread of the disease to other communities.

However, reports indicated that 21 people died from the disease in the Isiugwu community in the past two weeks, while about 10 died in Umuopu again on Tuesday, as did two others on Wednesday.

Four people died in the Aji community, while several others reportedly died in the Okpo and Igogoro communities, among other communities in the council area.

Health officials were said to have been flown to the Isiugwu community for a mass vaccination when journalists visited the council area for official comments on the matter.

However, a health official who spoke on condition of anonymity said it takes about 10 days for the vaccines to start working in anyone, adding that those who had been vaccinated could still die if they were already infected before being vaccinated due to the period. the time it takes for the vaccine to be effective.

He added that in total, the council area has lost at least 75 people in the last two weeks.

While reacting to the development, the head of the council, Ejike Itodo said that he has engaged relevant stakeholders for aggressive awareness raising and enlightenment of the council area people on the disease outbreak. He also said that the inhabitants of the affected communities are flocking to get vaccinated.

Urging people to pray against the disease, he said he has also ordered that anyone exhibiting any kind of symptoms be taken to the general hospital at council headquarters for proper medical care.

It was learned that a young pharmacist, Chidi Eze, was among the victims who died in the Isiugwu community.

Some residents who spoke to journalists, including Chibueze Ogbu and Onyemaechi Eke, expressed fear as the death toll continues to rise. According to the relatives of some of the victims, the symptoms begin with weakness of the body, pain, heaviness of the heart, before vomiting of blood and eventual death.

Remember that at least 27 cows also mysteriously died in some local government communities last week.

Meanwhile, all efforts to speak with Enugu State Health Commissioner, Dr. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi, and the state Epidemiologist, Dr. Chinyere Ezeudu, about the rising death toll were unsuccessful, as they did not take calls to their phone lines or respond to text messages. messages.

Yellow fever is caused by flaviviruses. It is an acute systemic disease, which means that it starts suddenly and affects the whole body.

The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, mainly Aedes and Haemogogus species.

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