An update on the Ondo killer disease which has claimed 18 lives since April 15, 2014, has now been attributed to pesticides. According to a tweet by WHO spokesperson Gregory Hartl, the “current hypothesis is cause of the event is herbicides”.
Herbicides are used to kill unwanted plants or weeds and may have been used in some parts of Irele.
He also added that tests which had been done in the last few days were negative for viral and bacterial infection. The tests were carried out at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, the WHO said. The disease attacks the central nervous system with symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, loss of sight, loss of consciousness and kills the patient within 24 hours.
The Ondo State Commissioner of Health Dr. Dayo Adeyanju confirmed that those affected began to show symptoms between 13-15 April. There are 20 recorded cases, 18 have died.