Cholera Outbreak: 96 LGAs record 30 deaths, 1,141 cases

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has alerted the public to the increasing trend of cholera cases across the country, as a total of 1,141 suspected and 65 confirmed cases of cholera with 30 deaths have been reported from 96 LGAs in 30 states.


A statement by the centre yesterday, said 10 states that contributed 90% to the burden of cholera include Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa and Lagos.


According to the statement, the multi-sectoral National Cholera Technical Working Group, led by the NCDC and comprising the Federal Ministries of Environment and Water Resources, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other partners, has been providing support to the affected states.


It advised the public, to ensure that water is boiled and stored in a clean and covered container before drinking.


Other advice includes practising good personal hand hygiene by washing your hands frequently with soap under clean running water, using alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and clean water are not available, ensuring that food is well cooked before consumption, only consuming raw food such as fruits and vegetables, after washing thoroughly with safe water.


•Dirty environment


“After cooking food or boiling water, protect against contamination by flies and unsanitary handling; leftover foods should be thoroughly reheated before ingestion. Persons with diarrhoea should not prepare or serve food or haul water for others.


“Avoid open defecation, indiscriminate refuse dumping, ensure proper disposal of waste and frequent clearing of sewage.


“If you or anyone you know experience sudden watery diarrhoea, please do not self-medicate, visit a healthcare facility immediately,” the centre advised the public.


About Cholera


Cholera is a food and water-borne disease, caused by the ingestion of the organism Vibrio Cholerae in contaminated water and food. Water is usually contaminated by the faeces of infected individuals. Contamination of drinking water can occur at the source, during transportation, or storage at home. Food may be contaminated by soiled hands, either during preparation or while eating.


Beverages prepared with contaminated water and sold by street vendors, ice, and even commercial bottled water, have been implicated as vehicles of transmission, as have cooked vegetables and fruits freshened with untreated wastewater. The time between infection and the appearance of symptoms is two hours to 5 days. It has a higher risk of transmission in areas that lack adequate sanitation facilities and/or a regular supply of clean water. Unsafe practices such as improper disposal of refuse and open defecation endanger the safety of water used for drinking and personal use.


People Most At Risk Are:


People of all ages living in places with limited access to clean water


People living in areas with poor sanitation and poor hygiene


People living in slum areas where basic water or sanitation infrastructure is missing


People living in rural areas who depend on surface water or unsafe piped or borehole well water sources for drinking


People who consume potentially contaminated food or fruits without washing and cooking properly


People who do not perform hand hygiene at appropriate times


Man-made or natural disasters like floods resulting in population movements and overcrowded refugee camps


Relatives who care for sick people with cholera at home


Healthcare workers including doctors, nurses, and other health workers provide direct patient care in the absence of standard precautions.


Symptoms Of Cholera


Symptoms of cholera include acute profuse, painless watery diarrhoea (rice water stools) of sudden onset, with or without vomiting. It may be associated with nausea, profuse vomiting and fever. Severe cases can lead to death within hours due to dehydration (massive body fluid loss). However, most infected people (about 80%) may only show mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all.


Cholera Treatment


The disease is easily treatable if detected early. Most infected people can be treated successfully through prompt administration of oral rehydration solution (ORS), to replace lost fluids and electrolytes, and appropriate antibiotics. The ORS solution is a powder that can be reconstituted in boiled or bottled water. Cholera can be deadly when infected people do not access care immediately.


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