Cholera kills 44 in Jigawa, Enugu

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fewer than 44 have succumbed to the cholera outbreak in Jigawa and Enugu states.

Thirty died in Jigawa and over 2,000 hospitalised in the past two months.

In Enugu, 14 died of the disease.

Dr Salisu Mu’azu, Permanent Secretary, Jigawa State Ministry of Heath, who confirmed the outbreak, said most of the infected cases were children in nine local government areas.

Mu’azu listed Hadejia; Dutse, Kirikasamma, Birnin Kudu and Ringim as some of the areas worst hit by the outbreak.

He said that of the 2,000 infected cases, some have been discharged while others were still receiving free medical treatment in government hospitals.

The permanent secretary did not have information on the cause of the outbreak in many of the affected areas but he said the Hadejia case could be linked to pollution.

He said there was possibility of contamination from an area where people practiced open defecation near the vendors who collect and circulate the to residents of Hadejia town.

Mu’azu said the state government was on top of situation, and has been providing assistance to residents in the affected areas.

The permanent secretary said the Nations Children’ Fund (UNICEF) supplied some medications and promised to send more soon.

Ikechukwu Obi, Enugu commissioner of health, in a statement on , said seven people died of the disease around New Artisan market in the state.

Boniface Okoro, director of public health and disease control, , on Monday, clarified the situation, saying there were seven more deaths on Monday, added to the previous seven on , with 19 persons identified with symptoms.

“Seven persons died initially on , but as of Monday, seven more deaths were confirmed, raising the fatality to 14,” he said.

He said many of the patients were taken to Enugu State Teaching Hospital, while others were taken to a private hospital in the city.

He said upon receiving reports of the deaths, the ministry’ rapid response team carried out an immediate investigation and “ was observed that the patients presented with sudden onset of passage of loose stool and vomiting”.

The director said the outbreak is due to hygiene, particularly, improper disposal of domestic and human waste, and consumption of untreated in the area.

Okoro said the state government has launched an aggressive sensitisation campaign for residents to take precautionary steps towards preventing further spread.

He also said some patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital, but added that a fresh case of the infection was on Monday morning, indicating the possibility of a further spread if residents do not take precautions.

He said other part of the state has been affected by the outbreak, and pledged the commitment of the state to curb the infection before spreads to other communities.

The cholera outbreak has been confirmed in several states, including the federal capital territory (), Benue, Delta, Zamfara, Bauchi, Kano, , Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Gombe, Bayelsa and Kebbi.