Cholera outbreak: NCDC records.1,141 cases, 30 deaths… Here’s how to avoid it

 Cholera outbreak: NCDC records.1,141 cases, 30 deaths… Here’s how to avoid it

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has informed the public of the rising cholera cases across the country, presently totaling 1,141 suspected cases of cholera, 65 confirmed cases, and 30 deaths from 96 LGAs in 30 states over six months.

A statement released by the center on Wednesday, June 12, stated that 10 states, including Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa, and Lagos, contributed 90% to the burden of cholera in the country.

“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.”, NCDC stated.

The statement also revealed that, “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, having been helping to reduce the burden of the affected states.

Recall that before the June 12 statement by NCDC, five persons were reported to have died and 60 others hospitalised from the outbreak of severe gastroenteritis in communities around Eti Osa, Lagos Island, Ikorodu and Kosofe local government areas of Lagos State.

As of 2nd June 2024, a total of 882 suspected cases including 16 deaths were reported from 30 states, however a 29% increase was experienced within 10 days bringing the figure to 1,141.

The June 2nd report shows that the people within the age groups of 5 years were mostly affected, followed by 5 – 14 years in aggregate of both males and females.

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Here’s how to avoid cholera as established by NCDC

Cholera is a disease caused by the ingestion of the organism Vibrio Cholerae in contaminated water.

Its symptoms 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)and food.

Cholera can be prevented through:

  • Thoroughly boil and store drinking water in a clean and covered container to prevent contamination.
  • Practice 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,
  • Ensure that food is well cooked before consumption, only consuming raw food such as fruits and vegetables, after washing thoroughly with safe water.
  • After cooking food or boiling water, protect against contamination by flies and unsanitary handling; left over 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.

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