About 300 students of the Federal Government Girls’ College, Efon-Alaaye, Ekiti State have been hospitalized over a suspected outbreak of cholera epidemic in the school.
The development has created serious panic across the state, as parents whose wards/children are in the school now rush to the school to identify the victims.
Information gathered confirmed that the signs had started manifesting since October 10, when some students were vomiting and stooling uncontrollably, resulting to serious fear among the staff and students.
When the situation became uncontrollable, the principal of the college, Mrs Grace Ogunyomi, was said to have reported the case to the state government on Wednesday for prompt action.
The revelation showed that the students were not infected at the same time, but were being taken to the hospital in batches for prompt medical attention to avoid the spread of the disease.
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, had ordered the Commissioner for Health, Dr Olurotimi Ojo to deploy professionals and drugs to help in stemming the tide of the epidemic.
The commissioner had also allayed the fear being exhibited by parents, saying it was a gastrointestinal infection popularly called diarrhoea.
It was reliably confirmed that about 31 of them were still being hospitalized at the Efon General Hospital, while many had been treated and released, having responded to treatment in time.
It was gathered that what the teachers had earlier suspected was that their food and water must have been contaminated, leading to outbreak of the epidemic in the school.
But a teacher, who spoke with newsmen under anonymity confirmed that medical examination of the samples of their water and food later confirmed that the infection did not emanate from those sources.
“What we felt was that, we thought their food and water had been infected, but we later gathered that it was not from that source.
When contacted on the matter, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Folakemi Olomojobi , who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner, disclosed that the disease had attacked about 300 students, but pointed out that only 20 of them were still being attended to while others had been discharged in batches.
Dr. Ojo said the Ministry of Health had brought in environmental health officials, while many professionals were still being deployed to nip the crisis in the bud.
“We had 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 dump their sewages.
“We have taken their blood samples of students infected to the hospital and preliminary test shows that it was not cholera. It was diarrhoea and vomiting. We are sending the samples for further test to confirm that it was not cholera”, she said.
The commissioner urged the members of the public not to exhibit fear, saying government would take every decisive action to put the situation under control.

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