Strange Disease in Benue Not Coronavirus, Says NCDC

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has dismissed fears that a disease outbreak in Benue State that recently took the lives of some persons could be linked to Coronavirus.

It, however, said the centre was currently investigating the cause of the illness.

A source at the centre noted that though investigations are still ongoing, the strange illness is definitely not the novel coronavirus.

An update from NCDC website on disease alert said: “ We were notified of deaths from strange illness by the state Ministry of Health in Benue on February 1.

“Samples tested at the NCDC reference laboratries are negatives but major viral hemorrhagic fevers waters were sent for further analysis.”

The Senate had last Thursday alerted Nigerians that a strange disease has hit Benue State, killing 15 persons already and about 104 seriously infected.

The Senate said it was suspecting that the outbreak may be coronavirus epidemic which it said required urgent measures to verify it.

According to the Senate, the outbreak of the strange disease occurred on January 29 in Oye, Obi Local Government Area of Benue State.

It directed the Federal Ministry of Health to immediately investigate the disease and also mobilise health personnel to the affected area to ascertain the nature of the disease.

The upper legislative chamber also requested the NCDC to quickly deploy surveillance team to contain the disease.