Yellow fever outbreak in Delta State: The true Story.

Well, if you don’t know, now you… There ” is currently an epidemic of yellow fever in Delta, an oil rich state in the Niger Delta, South-South Nigeria…So far, close to 50 predominantly young persons (including old persons) have died… and the deaths seems to be going unabated…

How it started?

The whole yellow fever outbreak saga started in Delta State specifically Delta North Senatorial district about 3 weeks.. The early casualties were young men and women between the age of 18 – 30 years.. They were said to have developed sudden yellowness of the eyes, fever, vomiting and severe abdominal pains, shortly after which they die. A medical doctor practicing in the community which NIMEDHEALTH spoke with said he knew the community was in for a possible outbreak of a deadly disease when 5 persons that were rushed to his private hospital had similar complaints and died almost immediately…. He said he was prompted to quickly inform the health authorities.

Yellow fever outbreak in Delta State: The true Story.
Yellow fever outbreak in Delta State: The epidemic took the life of a young lady in Ute-Okpu community.

LOCATION – Where is the epicenter of this yellow fever epidemic in Delta state?

As at now, the outbreak is restricted to mainly (not totally) two communities in Ika North East local government area…in Delta North. The names of the affected communities are Ute Okpu and Idumuesa..

Spirituality

As at when it started, some people in the community including the traditional head has ascribed the unfortunate deaths to some ancestral gods that has been offended.. Many a person called for the appeasement of the gods to stop the deaths…. Pastors in the communities have also head prayer sessions and crusades but the deaths has remained unabated as more persons are dying… Some youths in the affected communities have mobilized themselves to the Obi’s palace blaming him of turning his back against the gods of their forefathers.. The Obi, before now, has actually destroyed many of the ancestral shrines in the community…Many of the locals believe his actions were responsible for the recent anger of the gods and the deaths of youths in large numbers.

Deaths recorded so far from the epidemic in Delta….

Although the NCDC and other health authorities have really downplayed the number of deaths to be around 25 persons…. The NIGERIAN HEALTH BLOG can authoritatively confirm that about 50 or more persons have died so far. 2 persons died on Friday, and another 2 died on Sunday… I am  putting some of  their pictures since the relatives of the deceased  gave consent. All the deceased are all from Ika North East (precisely Ute Okpu and Idumuesa communities).

Yellow fever in Delta state
The epidemic came with sorrow, tears and blood..This young man died of yellow fever yesterday Sunday, 8/11/2020.

Government Response – NCDC comes to the rescue

It took about 2 weeks after the outbreak before the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)  were alerted by the state authorities. They promptly responded (kudos to them)… One of the drawbacks for them was that the families of the deceased had already buried their dead as at when they arrived… but they were able to still carry out some tests and autopsies…. The NCDC finally made a diagnosis of an epidemic of yellow fever and informed the communities of preventive measures. Persons including families that were exposed were promptly evacuated and isolated….. and treatment measures have been instituted for persons already infected.

JINGLES ABOUT YELLOW FEVER STILL ABSENT IN THE STATE

In spite of the increasing number of deaths of persons from the yellow fever epidemic, there are still no jingles or enlightenment programmes about the disease on radio and television in Delta State….Many people are still not aware they are facing an epidemic… Government is seriously lagging behind in their responsibilities here…. as far education of the populace is concerned…

Federal Government, State Government and the NCDC commences massive yellow fever vaccination!

Vaccines still remains the best means of preventing yellow fever.. The Nigerian government has hereby commenced mass immunization of persons infected the affected communities and also neighboring communities. Government approved health workers will be going from house-to-house in these communities to administer yellow vaccines…please cooperate with them and get vaccinated…ensure your family members get vaccinated too. Vaccines will save you from death and getting infected.

Yellow fever vaccination in Delta
Notice of Yellow fever vaccination in Delta

Finally,

What is Yellow Fever?

NIMEDHEALTH.COM.NG interviewed a consultant medical doctor who was on ground to have witnessed persons infected with the deadly yellow fever virus…Although he didn’t want his name to be published, he tried his best to educate people on the causes, symptoms and prevention of yellow fever.

Read Him:

“1. Yellow fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by mosquitoes – a special breed of mosquitoes. 

2. The clinical symptoms and signs are those of yellow fever, namely
*Fever
*Abdominal pains
*Yellowness of the eyes
*Vomiting
*Weakness/Tiredness
*Muscle aches

3. A lot of the persons who contracted this disease presented to hospital late.

4. Older persons (including those up to 40 years of age) are among the affected persons.

5. This problem is entirely an epidemic and we should stop attaching spiritual causes to it. Science is the way to go.

My recommendations:

1. Any body who develops a fever must be taken to the hospital immediately.

2. Those of us who know people in government should urge them to commence immediate vaccination against yellow fever.

3. A rapid response team need to be station in Ute Okpu to immediate pick up anybody with suspected case and take them to FMC Asaba.

4. Persons that have not been infected should pleae take certain precautionary measures such as:
– get vaccinated immediately
– Avoid staying out late so as to avoid mosquito bites*
– Fumigate our environment
– If possible, for now, please avoid visiting areas where the disease is endemic
– Try and rub mosquito repellants
– Wear long sleeve clothes, trousers, stockings etc to avoid mosquito bites
– clear all bushes around you.
– Avoid gathering of large crowds.”

THE NIGERIAN HEALTH BLOG SOURCED THIS INFORMATION FROM THE VILLAGERS AND HEALTH WORKERS ON GROUND TRYING TO CURB THE SPREAD OF THE YELLOW FEVER EPIDEMIC.

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