In Cross River State, no fewer than two persons are feared dead and at least 40 critically ill after drinking from a poisoned stream in Oboso community in Ogoja local government area of the State.
The Nation reports that Oboso and two surrounding communities that also depend on the stream for drinking water have been overcome with mourning and apprehension over the incident which occurred on Friday.
Sources say the there’s palpable fear of a possible outbreak of a strange ailment as a result of the sudden deaths and illness.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Inyang Asibong in the state while confirming the incident, said the strange illness was characterised by “sudden onset of vomiting, foaming in the mouth, body weakness and spitting out of blood with some deaths already recorded in three communities in Ogoja local government area of the state that share a common water source.”
He however assured that they were working round the clock to get to the root causes of the occurrence, adding that his ministry had dispatched a team made up of epidemiologists, doctors, community health workers and other related health staff to the affected communities to ascertain the real situation on ground and offer immediate medical assistance to those affected.
Dr Betta Edu, the Director General of the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, has asked that the poisoned stream be avoided for now.
“People should buy commercial water for now. Even after buying the commercial water, bottle or pure water, they should still try to boil it before drinking,” Edu said.
“They should be careful of where they eat for now, because if that poisoned water is used to prepare food it could still be dangerous.
“The community should be careful for now. If they have relatives in other areas, they can move there for now.
“We are on top of the situation. Those who are ill by the poisoning and in the hospital would get their treatment taken care of by the government.”