Poison drink kills 3, hospitalization 183 in northern Nigeria

KANO, Nigeria

At least three people died and over 183 were hospitalized in the northwestern city of Kano after ingesting expired and toxic fruit drinks.

Kano State Health Commissioner Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa said the outbreak had spread to about 13 local government areas.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Tsanyawa said the incident occurred while patients were consuming expired citric acid beverages in powdered form.

He said the outbreak affected 284 people, 101 have been discharged from hospitals, while 183 patients are currently being treated.

The official said the department’s task force had confiscated expired items that caused the outbreak worth over 59 million naira ($ 143,993).

Meanwhile, Kano State Ministry of Health said the affected patients had symptoms of hematuria, which causes bloody urine, fever, lethargy, and sometimes yellowing of the eyes (jaundice).

Dr. Health ministry epidemiologist Bashir Lawal told reporters Tuesday that “these symptoms are classic examples of hemolysis (red blood cell breakage) and bleeding.”

“We initially suspected viral hemorrhagic fever, but the test results were negative for yellow fever and Lassa fever. But we’re still waiting for the dengue fever test result. “

The state government has provided a list of hospitals dedicated to the patients affected by this outbreak. Hospitals include Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Infectious Disease Hospital, Sheikh Jidda Hospital, Waziri Shehu Gidado Hospital, Rano General Hospital and two hospitals in Dawakin Tofa.

Dr. Lawal said the outbreak had spread to eight local governments, including Gwale, Kano Municipal, Dala, Bunkure, Fagge, Gwarzo and Dawakin Tofa.

He said a water sample was also analyzed and three samples of expired fruit drinks were tested to confirm the poisoning link to expired ingredients or preservatives.

The State Consumer Protection Council is also investigating the circumstances that led to the poisoning.

An official source told the Anadolu Agency, regarding anonymity, that “officials are currently running a shop-to-shop operation in the market”. At the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, expired products were brought to the Singer market in the state.

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