There's been an outbreak of a "strange disease" at Federal Government Girls’ College, Efon Alaaye, Ekiti State.
The disease was first noted two weeks ago, and since then, about 300 students have been affected by the outbreak which causes vomiting and passage of watery stools.
Meanwhile the State's Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olurotimi Ojo, has come out to dismiss the cases as “diarrhoea” pending further medical investigations.
The school's principal, Mrs Grace Ogunyomi had the children treated at Efon General Hospital, with only 31 of them still receiving treatment.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Folakemi Olomojobi, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner, confirmed that only 20 of the infected pupils were still in the hospital, adding that the ministry had brought in environmental health officials.
“We have alerted the water corporation to chlorinate their water. They have about six boreholes and we have got them chlorinated, because we knew as professionals that the water could be a source.
“We are trying to look into their environment, so that we can get where such could have broken out. We want to know how they dump their faeces and how they discharge their sewages,” she added.
I have a feeling this so called "strange illness" is either a case cholera or gastroenteritis, so it's not as strange as reported by media outlets.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which produces causes a copious, painless, watery diarrhoea accompanied by vomiting that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given.
Most cases of diarrhoeal diseases are self-limiting (meaning a disease process that ends with or without specific treatment) but the key to survival in cholera or gastroenteritis is staying hydrated with lots of fluids preferrably water (not soft drinks) and oral rehydration solution (ORS).
See diagram below for how to make ORS at home. You may also buy Oral rehydration salts instead of using salt and sugar.
Please note- diarrhoea in infants can be life- threatening so it's best to take them to the hospital even if they are on ORS.