The “current hypothesis” is that herbicides have killed nearly 20 Nigerians in Ondo state, says the World Health Organisation on April 19th 2015.
By Victor Okeke, Winifred Ogbebo
The federal government has said that epidemiological findings showed that the consumption of a local dry gin contaminated by methanol (a poisonous substance) might have caused the outbreak of the strange disease at Ayadi and Irele council areas in Ondo State.
“At the last count, 18 out of the 23 persons affected have died but the beer parlour where the victims consumed the drink has already been closed down.”
The minister of state for health, Fidelis Nwankwo, stated this at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, adding that the outbreak cannot be attributed to any infectious organism or Ebola Virus Disease as feared.
He said, “The results of the detailed investigations being conducted by government and partners are still being awaited and will be made public as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, the country representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Rui Miguel Vaz, has debunked media reports attributed to the WHO that pesticide (weedkiller) poisoning was the likely cause of the outbreak and mysterious deaths.