Nigerian health authorities said on Monday that ethanol poisoning from a local gin may have been responsible for the sudden death of
people last week.
“We strongly suspect ethanol poisoning and in
view of this, we have ordered for another toxicology test for the
surviving victims,” Ondo state health commissioner Dayo Adeyanju told
Preliminary investigations ruled out viral or Ebola infection
for the outbreak of the mysterious illness in the southwestern town of
Ode-Irele on April 15.
“Our investigations revealed that five of
the victims took local gin mixed with herbs. Three of them died while
the other two have been put under close observation,” he said.
total, 23 people were affected, out of which 18 died. The five others
were referred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital for further
tests and monitoring.
Adeyanju said the disease was not contagious, adding no new case has been reported for the past four days.
will continue to monitor the situation. We are appealing to our people
to report any case of sudden illness or death to the health authorities
for immediate action,” he added.
Experts from the World Health Organization were in Ode-Irele to investigate the ailment with a view to containing it.
The global health body said on Sunday that pesticide poisoning was the likely cause of the mysterious deaths.
victims, whose symptoms included headache, weight loss, blurred vision
and loss of consciousness, all died within a day of falling ill.