An outbreak of a strange illness that appears to be seizure has claimed the life of a student at Mary Mount College, Agbor in Delta State.
Ten other cases of the disease are being managed at various medical facilities, even as authorities have shut down the school in an apparent move to ensure the situation does not escalate.
The deceased victim was said to have died few weeks after her parents took her to hospital for treatment following symptoms of jerking.
At a meeting with officials of the state Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in Asaba, management of the school confirmed the worrisome development.
Sister KaunaYakubu Ola who led the school management to the meeting, said four of the surviving students were taken to St. John’s Hospital, Agbor while the parents of remaining six students took their children to hospitals of their choice.
She said parents were immediately notified as soon as the sickness started manifesting its symptoms.
She hinted that there was a gas plant close to the school and that the management of the school had long ago told the owner of the plant to evacuate from the place for the sake of the health of the people within the area.
Permanent Secretary at the ministry, Mr. Augustine Oghoro, in a remark, said the state government was irrevocably committed to ensuring that every learning environment was healthy for children and teachers.
Mr. Oghoro stated that the ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Health considered it necessary to interface with the management of Mary Mount College with a view to evaluating the health implications of the sickness.
He urged the management of the college to furnish an emergency committee set up for the purpose on with the details of the students and their parents, so that they could be reached to know what the likely observations they noticed in their children.
Oghoro therefore urged the emergency committee comprising a representative of Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, officials of Ministry of Health and the management of Mary Mount College to visit the school, the nearby gas plant as well as visit and interact with the parents of the affected students.
Meanwhile, a statement from the state Ministry of Health indicated that the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has been notified, adding that samples were sent to the National Reference Laboratory, Abuja for detailed analysis.
“Members of the public should not panic as government is already on top of the matter and cases of this nature should be reported to the nearest government owned hospital,” the statement stressed.
Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report, the school has resumed for academic activities. The Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr. Charles Aniagwu revealed to journalists that the situation had been brought under control and that necessitated the reopening of the school.
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