Apprehension continued to mount in Kano as three persons were confirmed dead and 284 others were hospitalised after drinking from ‘ground water’ scooped near Dandolo Cemetery in Gwale Local Government Area of the metropolis.
Prior to the confirmation, an outbreak had been reportedly killing scores of persons in the city in the past two weeks, a development which eventually attracted government intervention.
Addressing newsmen on Tuesday, Commissioner for Health in Kano, Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa, who confirmed the development, declared that investigation revealed the contamination had spread across 13 local government areas, including the eight metropolitan councils.
The commissioner declared that out of the infected, 101 persons had been discharged across 25 health facilities where they were managed while 183 were still battling to survive.
Dr Tsanyawa, who debunked any link of the strange illness to the COVID-19 pandemic, said that preliminary investigation indicated food poisoning, including contaminated water and prepared juice from instant flavored drink powder.
He added that findings revealed that those hospitalised demonstrated barrage of symptoms, including fever, yellowish discoloration of the eyes, hematuria abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and dizziness, among other symptoms.
According to Tsanyawa, there was evidence linking the ‘ground water’ consumed to vapor of the cemetery while others came down after taking juice from instant flavored drink powder with a variety of salt for industrial use.
The commissioner disclosed that an index case of the outbreak, a six-year-old girl, developed abdominal pains, vomiting, jaundiced and urine with blood shortly after drinking water said to have been brought from a water vendor who sourced the water from borehole within the premises of a cemetery at Dandolo in Kano city, particularly in Warure area in Goro Dutse ward in Gwale.
“Further investigation revealed that those individuals that came down with such symptoms were said to have consumed juice from instant flavored drink powder with a variety of salt for industrial as well as caustic powder, mostly used for cadaver (dead body preservation). These drink powders were confirmed to have exceeded expiring date and exposed to non-recommended storage conditions.”
MEANWHILE, results of blood samples are still being awaited. While warning residents to be conscious of drinks and water being taken, the commissioner assured that the government was taking necessary measures to curtail the spread of the disease.