Four suspects have been arrested for their alleged complicity in the sales of expired mixed fruit and citric acid powder drink which has been linked to the death of four persons and the hospitalisation of 284 others in the state.

Acting Head, Kano State Consumer Protection Council, Baffa Baba Danagundi, told reporters that the suspects were arrested in Minjibir town with 580 bags of the expired products in their possession.

He said the lead suspect was notorious for the sales of expired products adding that the suspects were picked up following investigations conducted across markets such as Sabon-Garri market, Singer Market and others where the juice were being sold.

The state Epidemiologist, Dr. Bashir Lawan said casualties showed symptoms of haematuria (bloody urine) or dark urine, fever, lethargy, and sometimes yellowness of the eyes (jaundice).

“These symptoms are classical of ongoing haemolysis (breakage of red blood cells) and bleeding,” while adding that the index case was a six-year-old girl whose case was reported on March 6.

“We initially suspected viral haemorrhagic fever but the test results came back from the National Reference Laboratory as negative for Yellow Fever and Lassa fever. But we are still awaiting the test of Dengue fever.”

Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim-Tsanyawa, confirmed the outbreak of the strange disease at a news conference in Kano.

He said the infected persons had been admitted in 25 health facilities across the state.

He explained that the disease, whose outbreak was recorded on March 10, was suspected to be caused by consumption of contaminated flavour and a brand of expired instant drink products.

The commissioner said 284 persons were infected with the disease in 13 local government areas of the state, adding that 101 of them had been discharged, with 183 currently on admission.

He listed the affected areas as Dala; Gwale, Kano Municaipal, Fage, Ungogo, Kumbotso, Tarauni, Bunkure, Rano, Dawakinjudu, Dawakin Tofa, Gwarzo and Danbatta.

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