Strange skin disease spreads among layibi college students
By Denis Otim
A mysterious skin infection is causing panic among students and teachers of St. Joseph’s College Layibi.
The skin disease, whose cause is unknown broke out last week. It presents with reddish eyes, reddish skin rashes and sores on the patients’ faces and lower bodies.
The school authorities, at least 100 students, mostly in senior two, have so far been infected by the skin infections since its outbreak.
A teacher who preferred to speak on conditions of anonymity for fear of reprisals, told the Northern Era that the first 40 cases were registered last week, in one of the dormitories for senior two students, while more 60 students were registered this week.
“We are worried about this strange skin infection; the general population of students are at a very great risk of getting infected,” he said
The School head teacher, Robert Ojok, said there was no such skin disease at the school.
“We don’t have any case of a strange disease, it’s a lie,” Ojok told this reporter before putting off the call.
Dr Solomon Obol, the in charge of Teko Health Center III in Layibi Division where some of the students were rushed for treatment however confirmed that students are showing a signs and symptom of a very strange disease.
Dr Obol suspects the strange disease could be an infection acquired from the school’s swimming pool water.
He said they have carried preliminary investigation on the water quality and found it could be terminated since it’s not properly treated.
The Northern Era understands the swimming pool water is treated with chlorine and Aluminium Sulfate.
But Dr Obol said the test carried on the water shows the chemicals used is insufficient to treat the water.
The swimming pool was constructed under pressure last year, to host the Brookside East Africa Secondary School Games held in Gulu Municipality.
“Construction of the swimming pool wasn’t fully completed, its currently rainy season and whenever it rains, running water flows inside the pool. We believe there is contamination,” he said.
He noted that blood samples of the students and water samples from the swimming pool has been taken to the Viral research Institute in Entebbe.
The District Health Officer, Dr. Paul Onek told the Northern Era that test results for the samples taken haven’t yet been released.
“We are hopeful that by tomorrow [Friday], we shall have known what the cause of the disease is and its treatment,” Dr Onek said.