From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has confirmed that deaths from the unknown disease that recently broke out in Sokoto and Zamfara states has risen to seven.

The centre also confirmed that the disease has extended to Kaduna State, and might be recorded in other neighboring communities.

It disclosed that a total of 196 suspected cases have been reported across Isa, Sabon Birni, and Ilella local government areas of Sokoto State.

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NCDC Director General, Dr. Jide Idris, in a statement on Friday, said he recently held emergency meeting with commissioners for Health from Sokoto and Kaduna states, Hajiya Asabe Balarabe and Dr. Aisha Anka, and also had a phone conversation with the Zamfara’s Commissioner for Health, Hajiya Umma Ahmed on the matter.

He said the meeting was to access the situation and, perhaps, unravel the cause, as well as offer suggestions on how to contain and mitigate the impact of the ongoing incidents of unknown origin in both Sokoto and Zamfara states.

He disclosed that similar cases was recently reported in Zamfara, stating that officials of the National Rapid Response Team (NRRT) would be deployed to the state soon to assess the situation and provide necessary support to the state.

“However, results of the analysis on the various samples sent to the different laboratories including NIPRID, NAFDAC and NIMR are being awaited. So, we urge affected and nearby communities even in Kaduna State, given its proximity to Sokoto and Zamfara states to report any symptoms including fever, abdominal swelling and pain, vomiting, and weight loss to the nearest health facility or call NCDC toll free line (6232),”Idris said.