UNIDENTIFIED INFECTION HITS ABUJA SUBURB LEAVING 9 CHILDREN DEAD, OVER 40 HOSPITALISED

Health authorities in the FCT have declared a public health emergency in the settlement of Unguwar Hausawa, a slum neighbourhood of Abuja Municipal Area Council after nine children died there of a yet undiagnosed disease.
At least 32 other children in the community of Damagaza are hospitalised.
The World Health Organization, FCT public health department and the FCT   Primary Health Care Development Board at the weekend set up camp in the community to test, treat and vaccinate children exposed.
The first case, a girl aged seven years, died on June 15.
Eight more children have died since then, bringing the number of infections to 41.
All had fever and diarrhoea; their abdomen were distended; and their stool was mucous and greenish, said executive secretary of FCT Primary Health Development Board, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed.
Provisional diagnosis has shown the infection to be gastroenteritis or food poisoning, caused by contaminated food or water.
The surroundings of Damagaza has been described as dirty with poor hygiene.
Mohammed said the disease could be a result of water contamination. Residents of the community depend on stream and wells for water.
But Mohammed said stool samples had been taken to Asokoro and Maitama district hospitals and Ibadan for definitive diagnosis.

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