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Gastroenteritis: All You Should Know About The Strange Disease That Killed 62 In Kogi

The rampaging unknown disease which has killed more than 62 persons in Kogi state in just two weeks has been diagnosed to be gastroenteritis.

Stating this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lokoja on Sunday, the Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, however, noted that the casualty is exaggerated as the figure was given by local leaders in the affected areas are yet to be verified by the government.

“ We will investigate and trace the dead people to the graveyard and come up with the correct figure,’’ he said.

The state Ministry of Health had in a statement, said that the disease killed many people in Okunran, Okoloke, and Isanlu-Esa in Yagba West Local Government Area.

“The current information available to us is that the disease actually started six weeks ago in Okoloke village in Yagba West, which is a settlement that is predominantly inhabited by Fulani herdsmen.

“There have been cases of reported deaths following abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, but the patients who showed signs of illness had since been evacuated and transported to Kogi State Specialist Hospital Lokoja, for better treatment.

“So far, we have evacuated 39 patients from Okoloke area and only six of them were admitted and have shown significant sign of improvement while others have since been discharged.

“Out of the six that were admitted, three of them were diagnosed with gastroenteritis and the remaining three were just cases of malaria, and they have shown remarkable signs of improvement.”

Audu also stressed that the disease was not Lassa fever, as the result of samples taken from the patients to Irua General Hospital for investigation proved negative.

“We want to assure the general public that government is doing all that is humanly possible to stay on top of the situation and forestall further loss of lives.

“We will continue to inform the public as the investigation progresses,’’ Audu added.

About Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis also known as stomach flu is an intestinal infection marked by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting, and sometimes fever. With gastroenteritis, one’s stomach and intestines are irritated and inflamed. The cause is typically a viral or bacterial infection.

Symptoms of Gastroenteritis

The most common symptoms of gastroenteritis are:  watery diarrhea, vomiting. Other may include stomach pain, cramping, fever, nausea, and a headache.

Because of diarrhea and vomiting, the patient may also become dehydrated.

So aside from the symptoms listed above, signs of dehydration, such as dry skin and a dry mouth, feeling light-headed and being really thirsty should also be looked out for.

Depending on the cause, viral gastroenteritis symptoms may appear within one to three days after you’re infected and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms usually last just a day or two, but occasionally they may persist as long as 10 days.

Causes of Gastroenteritis

There are many ways gastroenteritis can be contacted or spread:

  • Contact with someone who has the virus
  • Contaminated food or water
  • Unwashed hands after going to the bathroom or changing a diaper

The most common cause of gastroenteritis is a virus. Gastroenteritis flu can be caused by many different kinds of viruses. The main types are rotavirus and norovirus.

Gastroenteritis flu can be caused by many different kinds of viruses but the main types are rotavirus and norovirus.

Also See: 5 Food You Didn’t Know Can Trigger Asthma Attack

Rotavirus

Rotavirus is the world’s most common cause of diarrhea in infants and young children,  who are usually infected when they put their fingers or other objects contaminated with the virus into their mouths.

The infection is most severe in infants and young children. Adults infected with rotavirus may not have symptoms, but can still spread the illness — of particular concern in institutional settings because infected adults unknowingly can pass the virus to others.

A vaccine against viral gastroenteritis is available in some countries, including the United States, and appears to be effective in preventing the infection.

Norovirus

Both children and adults are affected by noroviruses, which is the most common cause of foodborne illness worldwide. Norovirus infection can sweep through families and communities. It’s especially likely to spread among people in confined spaces. In most cases, you pick up the virus from contaminated food or water, although person-to-person transmission also is possible.

Norovirus infection can sweep through families and communities. It’s especially likely to spread among people in confined spaces. In most cases, you pick up the virus from contaminated food or water, although person-to-person transmission also is possible.

Also See: Scientists Discover How Important Pig Organs Can Be For Humans

Although not very common, bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella can also trigger the stomach flu. Salmonella and campylobacter bacteria are the most common bacterial causes of gastroenteritis in the U.S. and are usually spread by undercooked poultry, eggs, or poultry juices. Salmonella can also be spread through pet reptiles or live poultry.

Salmonella can also be spread through pet reptiles or live poultry.

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