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Mystery Illness Kills 17 in Southeastern Nigeria

Seventeen people are dead after succumbing to a yet to be identified deadly disease in a southeastern Nigerian town, the government said on Saturday.

The World Health Organization urged developing countries on Thursday to invest billions of dollars in the global fight against neglected tropical diseases. - Sputnik International
WHO Asks Developing Countries to Invest in Fight Against Tropical Diseases
"Seventeen people have died of the mysterious disease since it broke out early this week in Ode-Irele town," the government spokesman for Ondo state, Kayode Akinmade, told AFP by telephone.

Laboratory tests have so far ruled out Ebola or any other virus, Akinmade added.

Common symptoms of the disease, which killed the victims within 24 hours of their falling ill, include headache, weight loss and blindness before death, World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told AFP in an email.

Health officials and experts from the government and aid agencies, as well as WHO epidemiologists, have already arrived in Ode-Irele.

Jasarevic said blood and urine samples had been taken from two victims and cerebrospinal fluid from another.

"All samples have been sent to Lagos University Teaching Hospital this morning, and results are still pending. Investigations are still ongoing," he added.

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