‘Yellow fever’ kills four students in Bauchi

Four students of the College of Education, Waka-Biu in Biu Local Government Area of Borno State were confirmed dead with 12 hospitalised after a field trip to Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi.

According to the report, they complained of abdominal pains after which they vomited blood.

The Executive Secretary, Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Rilwan Mohammed, said that the state Ministry of Health received a report of a confirmed yellow fever case from the Kano State Ministry of Health which was linked to Yankari Game Reserve.

He added that the ministry also received reports from Gombe and Borno states of suspected cases which were linked to the reserve.

Mohammed said that following these reports, the State Rapid Response Team comprising all relevant stakeholders visited the Yankari Game Reserve on Wednesday, 4th September 2019 to investigate the incidence.

He said so far, six samples had been collected from suspected cases for testing in the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja and at the Regional Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal.

Mohammed who said that the main confirmation will come from Dakar, Senegal, adding that “additional investigations and other control measures are being put in place by the state with the support of agencies and relevant partners in the state and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control in ongoing.”

The Executive Secretary said that the samples of the students who went for a holiday at the Yankari Game Reserve had been taken “and some of them were also reactive but we are still not confirming the case (of yellow fever) until the Dakar case is actually confirmed but I can beat my chest and say that we are having the case but as for now, it is a suspected and reactive outbreak of yellow fever in Bauchi State.

He said that over 600 people in Yankari and around the area were vaccinated, adding that vaccinations would also be carried out in all the 20 LGAs in the state to prevent it from spreading.

“But as we are doing that, we also have to carry out environmental management since it is an environmental disease. Bauchi Agency for the Control of Tuberculosis, Malaria and Aids (BACATMA) sprayed all the chalets in Yankari and also the environment.”

He disclosed that there were three suspected cases of Lassa fever in the state which had also been sent to the regional laboratory in Dakar, Senegal, stressing that the confirmation would still come from there.

He called on the public not to panic as the government was doing everything possible to safeguard the health of the people.

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