The death of 18 people alleged to have been due to the desecration of a shrine in Ondo State has now been linked to a local gin that was contaminated with methanol. When ethanol is denatured, it turns to methanol, which is highly toxic in humans.
“At this stage, the particular poisonous substance is being ascertained. The results of these detailed investigations currently being conducted by Government and partners are still being awaited and will be made public as soon as possible,” said Minister of State for Health, Fidelis Nwankwo, at a media briefing in Abuja, on Monday.
“Epidemiological findings indicate a strong linkage of the outbreak with the consumption of a local gin that may have been contaminated with methanol (poisonous material).
“The assuring news however, is that NO new cases have been reported in the past 100 hours and no new mortality in the last 72 hours.
“We therefore believe that the situation is under control and that the stability will be sustained, while active case search and contact tracing continue in earnest.
“However, if any suspected case is found, it should be reported to the nearest Health Center for prompt investigation and treatment,” Nwankwo said.
He explained that preliminary laboratory investigations indicate that the outbreak cannot be attributed to any infectious organism (Bacterial or Viral). It was also not due to Ebola Virus Disease.