A strange affliction has taken the lives of over 12 people in Irele Local Government Area of Ondo State, south west Nigeria.

As penned by Sahara Reporters;

In a radio broadcast, the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dayo Adeyanju,

confirmed the outbreak, but assured residents that it was not Ebola.
Even though the source of the epidemic has not been determined, Mr.
Omole stated that many residents had blamed it on an “evil spiritual
“We noticed the strange ailment yesterday (Wednesday),” said Mr.
Omole. “Several people lost their sight before they died instantly.
“As at the last count, in the early hours of today (Thursday), more than
25 dead bodies were counted in the streets of Irele.
“Unlike yesterday, people are now scared of carrying the bodies because
of fear of infections. Some residents have fled the community for Ore
town while others are planning to leave for Akure for total safety.”
He stated that, in addition causing blindness, the unknown disease also
caused victims’ tongues to swell abnormally, rendering the victims
incapable of speech, prior to death within a few hours.
Mr. Omole said many in the community saw the ailment as having “a
spiritual cause,” adding that they believed it was beyond the control of
state health officials. He added that the residents were hoping that some
traditional healers would quickly come in to help.
A young resident in the town said the gods in the community were angry
because “some section of the shrine was recently destroyed and some
sacred objects stolen by unknown people.” He said some worshipers of
the deity and traditional priests were meeting to discover those behind
the theft.
Meanwhile, the state government has confirmed the outbreak of the
“unknown disease,” adding that it was on top of the situation.
Commissioner for Health Dayo Adeyanju Adressing a press conference in Akure

Commissioner for Health Dayo Adeyanju Adressing a press conference in Akure

In a broadcast on a state-owned radio station in Akure, the state capital,
the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Mr. Adeyanju, said the ravaging
disease was not Ebola as some feared. The commissioner stated that
health officials and equipment had been deployed to the community to
curtail the spread of the strange disease.
“The community outbreak team informed us yesterday morning of
disease outbreak in Irele. The unknown disease isn’t Ebola as it doesn’t
manifest any of its symptoms, but only attacks the central nervous
system of the victims.
“We can’t really say what is responsible for this ailment. It was clear
that those who had died had no symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea,” said
Mr. Adeyanju, adding that the symptoms of the ailment included
headaches and loss of sight prior to death.
“The disease has been spread to the whole town and it has been very
difficult to trace it to a particular source because it had already spread
across the whole local government of Irele,” he said.
The health commissioner disclosed that investigations had commenced
to determine the cause and source of the strange epidemic stressing that
blood samples from some victims have been taken to a laboratory in
Lagos for tests.

Asides from the “gods must be angry” theory as a possible cause for the epidemic as hinted by some in the community, there is also an exhumed corpse theory in which is also being explored.

The Ondo state comissioner for information and strategy in a recent interview told The Cable that the disease may be connected to an exhumed corpse, but that investigations are still on as the government is working very hard to check mate any further spread of the ghastly infection.

The symptoms were not that of Ebola; it’s a 24-hour attack that would make the victim to have headache, be unconscious, then after 24 hours, the person is gone. That one cannot be Ebola,” he said.

“All the necessary facility that government should provide, government has done that. We have moved all the ambulances and everything.”

“Available data do not indicate that 34 people have died – only 14,”he added.  “And from what we got, the 14 had personal contacts with those people who came to exhume the corpse that led to this epidemic.”

So what do we do now, head for the hills as something worse than Ebola just walked into town? Appeal to the Ondo gods to calm down by pelting them with prayer bullets or simply sit put and hope for the best?

Either way…. Don’t panic!

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