The Kano state government has stated that the index case of the strange disease, which has claimed four lives, drank borehole water from a place close to the Dandolo cemetery in the state.
This was disclosed by the state’s Commissioner of Health, Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa, during a press briefing on Tuesday.
He said the investigation also revealed that other individuals that came up with similar symptoms consumed prepared juice from instant flavoured drink powder.
The commissioner confirmed that in the last 10 days of the outbreak, four persons have died while a total of 284 have been affected in 10 of the 44 local government areas of the state.
The local government areas affected are Gwale, Kano Municipal, Dala, Fagge, Ungogo, Kumotso, Tarauni, Bunkure, Rano, Dawakin-Kudu, Dawakin-Tofa, Gwarzo and Dambatta.
He said the illness is with “a barrage of symptoms including fever, yellowish discolouration of the eyes, haematuria, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, body-aches, generalised body weakness, dizziness and in some cases requiring blood transfusion.”
According to Tsanyawa, the samples of water, blood and the different instant drink powder have been taken for different tests to pin down a diagnosis ranging from foodborne illness, food poisoning-Lassa fever, yellow fever, Dengue fever, chemical poisoning, toxic hepatitis, among others.
He said the results so far, have proven negative for Lassa and yellow fever as well as non-reactive for hepatitis but the results for heavy metals and leptospirosis were still being awaited along with findings of the National Agency of Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) on samples of the instant drink and powders.
He added that the ministry, in collaboration with other relevant authorities, has since commenced on the spot checks and supervisions of expired assorted foods and drinks across major markets and distribution points in the state.
This, it was gathered has yielded some results with the arrest of three persons and the confiscation of goods worth N59 million.
He called on the general public to avoid taking such instant powder drinks, especially as Ramadan is close.
“As we are near the fasting (Ramadan) period, that one can fulfil his daily recommended intake of fruits by drinking 100 per cent juice by following safety guidelines to help prevent foodborne illness alongside personal and environmental hygiene,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state government has banned the sale of any type of instant flavoured drink in the state.
The Managing Director of Kano State Consumer Protection Council, Baffa Babba Danagundi, said the prohibited drinks include instant flavour drink powder such as Foster Clark Critic Acid and Jolly Juice, among others.
He said the government has mandated the council to go after anyone buying or selling any flavoured drink in the state.
He called on the general public not to relent in reporting to the council any person that continues with such a business.