3 dead, 183 others hospitalised in Kano

No fewer than three persons have been confirmed dead and 284 hospitalised from a suspected water borne disease in Kano.

Sources said the dead and sick persons, mostly males, might have drunk from a borehole drilled in a cemetery.

Commissioner for Health, Aminu Ibrahim-Tsanyawa, who confirmed the strange deaths at a news conference in Kano on Tuesday, said the affected persons had taken expired citric acid powdered drinks -the brand of Jolly Jus or Fresh.

He said the products’ batches show that the drinks had expired since a year ago but were still being sold in Kano markets.

The Consumer Protection Council has launched an investigation into the incident, conducting shop to shop search in Kano markets.

Out of the 284 hospitalised, 101 have been discharged leaving 183 still receiving treatment, the state government said.

Tsanyawa said those on admission have been spread in 25 health facilities across the state as the outbreak affected residents in 13 local government areas.

Gwale, Kano Municipal, Dala, Bunkure, Fagge, Gwarzo, Dawakin Tofa, Ungogo, Kumbotso, Tarauni, Rano, Dawakinjudu and Danbatta are among the affected councils.

The commissioner announced the ministry’s taskforce has seized items that caused the outbreak of the disease valued at N59 million.

“We have deployed personnel and scaled up surveillance in the 44 local government areas of the state to check circulation of the suspected products.

“The state government is providing free treatment to the infected persons.

“13 persons have been arrested in connection with the circulation of the suspected products.

“The index is a six-year old girl who developed abdominal pain, was vomiting and had jaundice and urine with blood (hematuria) after drinking water bought from a vendor.

“The vendor was said to have sourced the water from a borehole at a cemetery in the metropolis.

“The assumption involves instant drink flavour powder and a variety of salt for industrial use (caustic powder).

“Water, blood and different instant drink flavour powder samples have been taken for tests to pin down a diagnosis, ranging from food-borne disease, food poisoning, Lassa Fever, Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, Chemical poisoning to Toxix Hepatitis,” he said.