A yet-to-be-identified disease has claimed at least 18 lives at Matazu, in Matazu Local Government Area of Katsina State. The victims died between the evening of Monday and Tuesday morning in what health officials describe as complications of the strange ailment which apparently mimics clinical symptoms of yellow fever. The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kabir Mustapha, confirming the incident, said that the death toll is from a total of 47 cases of persons who reportedly contracted the disease in the area.
According to Mustapha, “we cannot say it is yellow fever for now because five out of 11 samples collected from Matazu for laboratory analysis tested negative for yellow fever.” He said that the Katsina State Primary Health Care Development Agency had during a recent immunisation campaign administered a total of 6.3 million doses of yellow fever vaccine across the 34 local government areas, including Matazu and its environs. “We don’t know the name of this disease for now and we can only treat a disease that we know,” the government official said.