Benue state government has ordered the closure of a secondary school, Vaatia College, in Makurdi, Benue state capital following the outbreak of a strange disease.
Following the shutdown, the school authority had sent a notice to parents and guardians, on Sunday, to pick up their children and wards.
Five students of the school were reported to have been hit with the strange illness and hospitalized at teaching hospital and Madonna hospital all in Makurdi.
The State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Joseph Ngbea, who spoke to our correspondent said that five students of the school were hit by the strange illness.
The Commissioner described the strange illness as ‘Orepa syndrome” saying that that the students experienced paresis.
According to the Commissioner, five students of the school Vaatia College were hit adding that the school was shut to avoid any possible spread.
Ngbea said: “Five students were affected, three at the Teaching Hospital and one of them is doing well while two others are at Madonna hospital (a private hospital).
“You know that Nigeria is in the process of certification of polio-free, now, we saw that some students were having paresis. (not completely paralysis). they are actually doing well.
“Since there is no paralysis, polio is completely ruled out. So it is called Orepa syndrome, we are trying to look at that, they are being treated, for now, there is no diagnosis at the teaching hospital.
When asked if the disease is contagious, the Commissioner said: “It is autoimmune.
“That is why we shut down the school, the biology of the virus, we want to look into it, it is contagious, that is why we asked them to close down the school,” the commissioner said.
At the moment the only visible symptom of this unknown disease is ” Wobbly legs” , where by a person with the disease can’t walk or might have difficulty in walking.