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Benue Closes School Over Strange Illness

NEWSMAN, Makurdi – Benue state government has shut down a private boarding school in Makurdi, the state capital, as a result of an unidentified illness.

The affected school, Vaatia College, ranks among the highly rated secondary schools in the state.

According to some parents on Sunday, explained that they received messages from the school authorities to evacuate their children/wards over the development.

It was learnt that at least five students were affected with the ailment, which symptoms include headache as well as fever.

A parent, who preferred not to be named, said he came to pick up his daughter after the message from the school authorities.

When contacted, the State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Joseph Ngbea, confirmed the development, saying the school was advised to close indefinitely to enable his ministry conduct a thorough investigation on the disease, Daily Trust reported.

Ngbea said “Yes, the school is Vaatia College. I’m just leaving the teaching hospital to see the patients. Three patients are there but one is an out-patient and doing well.

“Some of them are having headache. Since there is no paralysis, polio is completely ruled out.

“We are trying to look at what they are being treated, for now, there is no diagnosis at the teaching hospital. Now, we are heading to Madonna Hospital where there are two others on admission. The illness is autoimmune, it can have effect.

“We shut down the school. You know that COVID-19 is a new virus. We want to look into if it is contagious, that is why we asked them to close down the school. We can look at the biology of the disease and then be able to advise the school appropriately”, he said.

The commissioner said the ministry was interacting with the physicians managing the affected students in order to give appropriate advice to the school authorities after the closure.

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