|WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl|
The World Health Organisation says pesticide poisoning is the probable cause of mysterious deaths of over 18 people in Ode Irele, in Irele Local Government Area of Ondo State. Those who died suffered from blurred vision and headaches, and then lost consciousness before dying within 24 hours, PUNCH reports.
The “current hypothesis is cause of the event is herbicides,” WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl, said in a tweet. “Tests done so far are negative for viral and bacterial infection,” he added. The WHO spokesman said the current theory was that the deaths were caused by weedkiller.
All of those affected started showing symptoms between April 13 and 15. The tests were carried out at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, the WHO said.
#OndoX: current hypothesis is cause of the event is #herbicicdes. Tests done so far r negative for viral and bacterial infection @EbolaAlert
— Gregory Härtl (@HaertlG) April 19, 2015
Meanwhile, the WHO officials have visited Irele town in Ondo State to trace some victims with symptoms of the unknown disease that has killed over 18 persons. The Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, said this at a news briefing in Akure on Saturday.
The commissioner added that five victims of the disease, who were still alive as of Saturday had been moved to the University College Hospital, Ibadan on Saturday night. Adeyanju and other state government officials also visited Irele to get firsthand information from some of the victims who are still alive and their relations.
The commissioner, however, revealed that the two victims discharged themselves from the hospital against medical advice. He stated that medical personnel had begun tracing the address of the two victims and others who he said the state government would move to the UCH, Ibadan for further treatment.
The Ondo State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Betiku Bamidele, told one of our correspondents that fresh blood and urine samples had been taken from the cases and they had been sent to two separate laboratories outside the state.
The commissioner urged members of the public to discountenance the terrifying photos of some persons with bumps all over their bodies saying those in the photographs did not die of the disease. Some residents of the town, who also corroborated Adeyanju’s claims, a resident of the town, Mr. Jobi Enimade, who is an accountant with the Ministry of Niger Delta at Igbokoda office, said that the WHO officials came to his residence and asked him questions about the disease.