The Sokoto State government has confirmed nine deaths, from what an official suspects is a case of gastroenteritis in seven local government areas of the state.

The permanent secretary, ministry of Health, Mr Mustapha Ali, on Friday in Sokoto, listed six of the affected LGAs, which all border the Republic of Niger as: Illela, Sabon-Birni, Gada, Goronyo, Isa and Tureta.

According to Ali, the situation is however, under control. State and federal government officials have already been deployed to the affected areas and medications and other aids, also made available.

He debunked claims that it was an outbreak of cholera, noting that experts have since taken samples for laboratory test in line with standard practice. And preliminary investigations reveal that the deaths may have been caused due to the consumption of contaminated water, with the rainy season at its peak, in the affected areas.

Ali said 80 patients were hospitalised in Tureta town and its suburbs, adding that all the deaths are those recorded within the primary health care centres and hospitals.

Nonetheless, he insisted that it was irrational to attribute other deaths to the gastroenteritis, as natural deaths occur daily at different places.

Ali also confirmed the death of one person, which occurred at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Gandi village.

He cautioned people against unwholesome food and water consumption and urged hospital workers to be on the alert by living up to the expectation of their services.