Kano State Map
Kano State Map

Ten dead, many hospitalised from ingesting poisonous fruit juice in Kano

NEWS DIGEST – The death toll from ingesting an unknown fruit juice in Kano state has risen from four to ten since March 17, according to the State government.

About 400 persons are currently hospitalised.

This poisonous fruit juice first raised concerns on March 16 when State Commissioner of Health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim-Tsanyawa, tied an outbreak of a strange disease to the consumption of a contaminated flavoured drink.

At the time, four persons were reported dead and 284 others, across 13 local governments, were hospitalised.

It is suspected that this juice induces kidney impairment. The state government announced on Thursday that 50 of the 400 hospitalised victims are being treated for kidney-related ailments.

When the juice first raised concerns in March, the State foremost epidemiologist, Dr Bashir Lawan, said “symptoms are classical of ongoing haemolysis and bleeding.”

By implication of the epidemiology report, victims could suffer quickened rupture of red blood cells, beyond what is normal, so much that blood is present in their urine (haematuria).

From inspecting the index case of a six-year-old girl whose case dates back to March 6, Dr Lawan said other symptoms included yellowness of the eyes (jaundice), fever and lethargy.

This Sunday, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control connected the chemical in the juice responsible for the poisoning with hydroxylamine.

Even though hydroxylamine is produced from normal cell metabolism, it can become toxic to humans at abnormally high concentrations.

“It is fake food. It was most likely smuggled into the country,” said Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, on Sunday.

This is because chemicals like hydroxylamine would require special permit from NAFDAC before it can be legally imported into the country, she had said.

The State Government is warning citizens and Nigerians to be careful about the fruit juices they consume at this time.

Tsanyawa warns that Muslim faithfuls who may need to patronise juices because of the excessive heat will need to watch out to avoid kidney problems and other complications.