At least 16 persons have reportedly died following an outbreak of yellow fever virus in Izzi local government area of Ebonyi State.
Many others are also receiving treatment at the Virology Centre and Iboko General Hospital in the State.
The virus invaded the community since July before the information got to the state ministry of health which quickly moved into the area to avoid further spread.
Dr. Chris Achi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health in the state confirmed the incident on Friday to Journalists in Abakaliki.
He said the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has intervened on the matter.
Achi, blamed the death of the 16 persons to the patronage of quacks and use of herbs to treat the outbreak.
He appealed to the people of the state to always access health facilities located in their area.
According to him, a specie of mosquito called AEDES mosquito transmits the virus to humans and it has three to six days incubation period in the human body.
“Yes, that is why we appreciate the community giving early information to the authority especially when they notice that there is unusual happening. We have always insisted that people should make use of our health facilities. In every 171 political wards in Ebonyi State, we have a health center that will serve them.
“Incidentally about 16th of July, somebody called me from one of the villages in Izzi local government area that there is a way people are dying in the village that he is suspecting that something may be wrong, but I called health workers there who said no such case came to their clinic.
“I sent our rapid response team to visit the place, lo and behold when they got there, it was a case of yellow fever and unfortunately, we have had about 16 deaths from the place. So we moved to the place, conducted case search, those who already had the symptom, we moved them to the health facility at Ndungele and when it was serious, we moved some to the general hospital at Iboko and Virology center here in Abakaliki.
“But the problem about the outbreak was that our people did not believe that they will go to the hospital when they experience this yellowness of the eyes, they believe that they can be treated with local herbs that’s why we recorded causalities which should not have been.