By Abba Gwale

Federal Government has sent the National Rapid Response Team to Kano State to unravel the mystery of a strange illness in the state.

The Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

He said the team will also manage victims of the illness which has infected over 200 persons with four dead from the illness.

Ihekweazu said the Kano State Ministry of Health reported a cluster of cases in 13 LGAs within the state with most of the cases having fever, vomiting, yellowish eyes and abdominal pain as symptoms.

“We’ve tested four samples taken from these cases for Lassa fever and yellow fever at the NCDC National Reference Lab. The results of these were negative,” he said .

He added that “We’re working with, our sister agency NAFDAC as well as a toxicologist from FMoH to test for potential non-infectious causes,”

He further said the agency had also collected additional human and environmental samples for metagenomic sequencing which is a method for detecting rare new causes of illness.

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

“We’ll continue to keep members of the public aware of our findings, while we support the state’s response,” he concluded.

The strange disease is confirmed in 13 local government areas, including eight metropolitan councils in the state.

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