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NCDC deploys response team to Kano over strange illness

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The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday deployed a National Rapid Response Team to Kano State to unravel the source of a strange illness and manage identified victims in the state.

The NCDC Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja.

The Kano State government confirmed at the weekend that at least over 200 people had been affected and four others killed by the strange illness in 13 local government areas of the state.

Ihekweazu said the state’s Ministry of Health reported a cluster of cases in 13 LGAs in the state with the victims showing symptoms that included fever, vomiting, yellowish eyes and abdominal pain.

He said: “We have tested four samples taken from these cases for Lassa fever and yellow fever at the NCDC National Reference Lab. But their results were negative.

“A National Rapid Response Team with colleagues from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), NCDC and NAFDAC, have now been deployed to Kano State.

Read also: Nigeria’s COVID-19 deaths surpass 2,000 as NCDC confirms 287 new cases

“We are working with our sister agency, NAFDAC, as well as a toxicologist from Federal Ministry of Health to test for potential non-infectious causes.”

The NCDC chief said the agency had also collected additional human and environmental samples for metagenomic sequencing – a method for detecting new cases of illness.

“Our immediate focus is to identify the cause of this outbreak, ensure management of current cases and to control transmission.

“We will continue to keep members of the public aware of our findings while we support the state’s response,” Ihekweazu added.

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