Cholera Kills 54, Expert Advises Nigerians On Hygiene

No fewer than 54 persons have been reportedly killed by Cholera according to data obtained from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Cholera, an acute diarrheal infection caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium vibrio cholera, occurs majorly during wet season.

The 16 states, according to the NCDC data, that had reported suspected cholera cases in 2022 are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Cross River, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo, Rivers, Taraba and Zamfara.

The centre said, “There was a 180% increase in the number of new suspected cases in April compared to March.

“A total of 1,861 suspected cases including 54 deaths have been reported from 16 states in 2022. Out of the suspected cases since the beginning of the year, the age group of children less than five years is the most affected.

“Three states, namely Taraba, Cross River and Katsina, account for 72 per cent of all cumulative cases.”

An epidemiologist, Dr Stephen Fagbemi, in an interview with The PUNCH said cholera outbreak is rampant during the rainy season because of peoples’ poor hygiene habits.

Fagbemi said, “The issue of cholera is about personal and environmental hygiene. Now that we are in the rainy season, we should make sure the drains are clear and avoid throwing our waste into the gutters.

“We should also ensure that our wells are secured; we should raise the edge of the wells so that running waters will not go into them. People should also avoid locating the well close to the toilets.

More importantly, if anyone is having frequent stool, he or she should report immediately to the health facility. During the rainy season like this, cholera disease is rampant. Therefore, people should watch the kind of water they drink. There is also the need to urge people selling water to ensure that the water they are selling to the people is safe for drinking.”

According to the World Health Organisation, Cholera remains a global threat to public health and an indicator of inequity and lack of social development.

The global health body, which noted that the disease can cause severe acute watery stool, stated, “It takes between 12 hours and 5 days for a person to show symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water.

 “It affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated. Most people infected with Vibrio cholerae do not develop any symptoms, although the bacteria are present in their faeces for 1-10 days after infection and are shed back into the environment, potentially infecting other people.”

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