At least seven people have died of a yet unidentified disease at the New Crafts Market, Enugu, while eight others are in critical condition.
The chairman of the livestock market, Alhaji Danladi Abubarkar, who disclosed this to reporters yesterday, said the deaths occurred early in the morning. Abubarkar said market residents woke up and found the bodies of the dead, which included four men and three women.
He said all of the victims, who included tricycle drivers, artisans and other people from different families, had stool and vomiting. “As we speak, the bodies are still in their rooms. Soon we will go to the cemetery to bury the Muslims and the Christians will be picked up by their relatives,” he said.
Enugu State Health Department officials have already visited the area to investigate the cause of death. The head of the group, who wished to remain anonymous, described the situation as alarming, saying all the dead were unrelated.
The source said there was a possible outbreak in the area, adding that doctors at Enugu State University Teaching Hospital had been alerted. He ordered that those in critical condition be taken to the hospital immediately, and eight people were immediately taken to the site in a bus marked “Olamaboro Local Government Council.”
Dr. George Ugwu, executive secretary of the Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency, said it was premature to speak on the matter because no one was sure of the cause of death. Ugwu, however, said a team of health experts had been sent to the site to get more information.