The death toll in Rivers State food poisoning, linked to the consumption of dog meat and locally made gin known as Ogogoro, has risen to 38.
Crisis began after some residents in some parts of the State in south-south Nigeria consumed the suspected poisonous items.
Briefing reporters on Monday in Abuja, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it would collaborate with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to establish the real cause of the deaths.
Heavy Doses Of Methanol
The agencies urged the public to desist from the consumption of locally made gin, as the reported deaths were possibly linked to heavy doses of methanol in the gin.
The Director General of NAFDAC, Paul Orhi, and coordinator of the NNCDC, Professor Abdulsalami Nasidi, told reporters at a joint press conference on Monday that samples of the locally produced gin had already been collected from Rivers State and were currently undergoing laboratory test in Lagos State.
The agencies also advised the public to take any suspected victim of food poisoning to teaching hospitals, as the possibility of restoring health exists when cases are reported early.
So far, 45 cases of food poisoning have been reported in Rivers State.
A similar case of food poisoning occurred in Ondo State in April, killing at least 18 people.
The deaths occurred after the persons consumed locally made gin in the state. Later test conducted on the gin showed presence of heavy doses of methanol in the gin.