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Regional News of Friday, 19 February 2021

Source: Linda Ikeji

Benue govt shuts down private school after strange illness left 9 pupils with paresis

The Benue State government has shut down a secondary school in the state, Vaatia College in Makurdi, the state capital following the outbreak of a strange illness that has left nine students with mild paresis.

The Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Joseph Ngbea, who confirmed the outbreak of the ailment, said some of the patients have been discharged while few others are still hospitalized.

“The report of the unknown disease got to me through my Director of Public Health and we went to the Teaching Hospital where three of the students were on admission and what we saw, there was no paralysis. What we saw was Paresis – weakness of the limbs.

Many of them were walking with a wobbling gait. We looked at the possible causes because this country is almost certified free of Poliomyelitis.

So, when we got there, it was confirmed that it was not Poliomyelitis. What we are looking at is ‘Golemba Syndrome’. It is a weakness that starts from the limbs upwards” he said

When asked what is the likely cause, the Commissioner said the causes are multi-factorial and can be as a result of bacterial, fungal, or viral infection.

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