Unusual illness in Irele local government area of Nigeria

There have been reports of a “mysterious disease” causing up to 25 deaths in Ode Irele in the Irele local government area of Ondo State. According to reports, all hospitalized patients were middle-aged men who developed the illness at about the same time, suggesting a single exposure, perhaps some type of poisoning. Patients are said to have had headache and sudden loss of sight before death, with loose stool, and difficulty hearing and speaking, accompanied by swelling of their tongue in one, and possibly 2, of the reports. Hospitalized patients were said to have elevated blood pressure and signs suggestive of raised intracranial pressure in one of the reports above. Perhaps methanol intoxication, insecticide exposure or another toxin is responsible. Extensive investigation is underway.

At present, there is little evidence that this illness is an infectious disease that would pose any risk for travellers.

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