Benue State Epidemiologist, Dr Samuel Ngishe said two cases of Lassa fever were confirmed in the state and 7 deaths resulted from a strange illness.
Nyitse said that the two Lassa fever cases were reported from Guma and Ogbadibo local government areas of the state. The suspected cases turned positive while the patients were being quarantined within health facilities.
It is however reported said the 7 deaths from a strange illness were not as a result of Lassa fever, and the victims were from Obi and Oju.
Nyitse said: ” As at Friday, Feb. 12, 2020, only seven persons lost their lives. Other deaths were unrelated to the issue.
“The five cases in the areas when tested proved negative to Lassa fever.
“As we speak with you now, yellow fever is at the back of our thoughts. However, the few samples that we tested proved negative to it.
“Notwithstanding, we are still waiting one component of the results to be out before we conclude. We are taking a larger population for testing in order to ascertain the exact situation.
“We were suspecting yellow fever because there was an outbreak of the disease in Ebonyi and Oye-Obi community shares a boundary with Ebonyi.
“In fact, it is only the river Obi that is separating them. When the outbreak occurred the people of Ado Local Government Area of the state were vaccinated against it but the people of Obi were not.
“We have sent samples to the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja. So, for now, we cannot categorically say that the deaths were as a result of the chemicals or yellow fever.
“We got information that toward the end of last year some people applied gemmalin 20 into river Obi with the aim of catching fish for consumption.
“The river is not a fast flowing type, so the effect of the chemicals can still have effect on living things,” he said.
Confirming another case of Lassa fever in the state, he said, “The result of this case came out over the weekend. The victim hails from Guma Local Government Area of the state.”