Two dead, 167 hospitalised as strange disease breaks out in Kano


Two persons have died and 167 residents hospitalised following the outbreak of an infection suspected to be food poisoning in Kano state.

The state ministry of health confirmed that the affected patients presented symptoms of haematuria which causes bloody urine or dark urine, fever, lethargy, and sometimes jaundice.


The patients were said to have consumed expired citric acid powdered drinks.


Aliyu Mohammed, coordinator of the sector 4 command, joint border patrol team of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) in the north-west, had raised the alarm that expired citric acid drinks were in circulation.

He said the products are common in the market given that Ramadan is around the corner.


He said they seized 84 cartons of the products which have expired since 2019.


“Fasting will soon come. The people now have the habit of importing very expired items. These are the flavours. Any man who performs his fasting in the evening will like something very delicious but these things have expired since 2019,” Mohammed said.


“We have arrested about 624 pieces in each carton and we have 84 cartons.”


Bashir Lawan, an epidemiologist in the state ministry of health, told reporters on Tuesday that “these symptoms are classical of ongoing haemolysis (breakage of red blood cells) and bleeding”.


He said the index case was a six-year old girl recorded on March 6, 2021.


“We initially suspected viral haemorrhagic fever but the test results came back from the National Reference Laboratory as negative for Yellow fever and Lassa fever. But we are still awaiting the test of Dengue fever,” Lawan said.


The state government has provided a list of hospitals designated for patients affected by this outbreak to be admitted for treatment.


The hospitals include, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, and Infectious Disease Hospital.


Others are Sheikh Jidda Hospital, Waziri Shehu Gidado Hospital, Rano General Hospital and two hospitals in Dawakin Tofa Local Government.


Lawal said the outbreak has spread to eight LGAs including Gwale, Kano Municipal, Dala, Bunkure, Fagge, Gwarzo and Dawakin Tofa.


He also said a water sample was taken from Dandolo cemetery’s bore-hole for analysis to rule out other potential causes of the outbreak.


He added that they have about three samples of expired powdered mixed-fruit and citric acid powder with NAFDAC for laboratory testing to confirm the link to either expired ingredients or preservatives, while four additional samples were taken for heavy metals and leptospirosis screening among other technical response activities.


A source disclosed that “their men are currently conducting shop to shop operation in the market”.


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