Thirty eight people have been confirmed dead by the Jigawa State Ministry of Health in an outbreak of cerebellum spinal meningitis in the state.
The state Commissioner of Health, through the permanent secretary in the ministry, Dr. Salisu Muazu, said the disease has been recorded in seven local government areas of the state that share a border with the Niger Republic.
He listed the affected LGAs as Babura, Maigatari, Suletankarkar and Birniwa, Gumel, Gwiwa and Yankwashi.
Muazu confirmed the deaths while fielding questions from newsmen on Wednesday in his office in Dutse, the state capital.
He revealed that the type of CSM reported from the affected communities was ‘strange.’
Dr Muazu explained that a total of 398 suspected cases have been recorded across some towns and villages in the affected local government areas.
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He said, “The outbreak was recorded in the seven local government areas neighbouring Niger republic where the outbreak started and later transmitted to other villages and towns of those local government areas bordering the Niger Republic.
The disease, he pointed out, appeared in 56 political wards where 398 cases were recorded.
“Last year we did an immunisation on Cerebellum Spinal Meningitis across the state and we discovered the outbreak in these seven local governments neighbouring Niger Republic.
“After the report of the outbreak, we took the samples of the disease, tested it in the laboratory and we discovered it was a strange disease. It was not a normal CSM disease which we are familiar with here. We discovered it is a new bacteria known as type B.
“Immediately after the report, the state government through the ministry of health swung into action of treatment, control and prevention measures in the affected areas.
“We established a centre at Gumel general hospital where all the patients were referred to for treatment. We treated all the patients for free” he said.
Dr. Mu’azu disclosed that the situation was now under control as the number of cases recorded has drastically reduced,
“It is now under control. We now record one to two cases daily. There are some days when we recorded zero cases. Since last Saturday till today we have recorded only one case,” he said.