Death toll rises to 97 in Nigeria cholera outbreak

ABUJA, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) – The number of
people killed in a cholera outbreak hitting two out of Nigeria’s six
northeastern states has risen to 97, according to United Nations data.

Local authorities on Sunday confirmed that 36
people were killed by the water-borne disease in Borno, local daily The
Guardian reported on Monday, citing data from the United Nations Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

A total of 3,126 cases of acute watery
diarrhea (AWD) have been recorded in the two northeastern states of Borno and
neighboring Yobe so far, according to the report.

Laboratory tests later confirmed the AWD cases
as cholera, a local official told Xinhua.

The Nigerian Center for Disease Control
declined to comment on the latest death toll, but confirmed more than 16,353
cholera-related cases had been recorded so far in Nigeria since the beginning
of the year.

Last Friday, 61 people were confirmed in
cholera-related deaths and 50 others hospitalized in Yobe, according to
government data.

The government of Yobe said six local areas
had so far been affected by the disease.

Cholera is a highly virulent disease
characterized in its most severe form by a sudden onset of acute watery
diarrhea that can lead to death.

Borno has 2,137 suspected cases of cholera
across eight local districts.

As of Sept. 20, the state had recorded a
fatality rate of 1.6 percent in the affected areas, according to the government
of Borno.

Inadequate sanitation facilities in the
affected local communities and flooding resulting from recent heavy rains are
likely causes of the outbreak, said Muhammad Kawuwa, commissioner for health in
Yobe.

“Some of the AWD cases were caused by
Vibrio bacteria which causes cholera,” Kawuwa said.

Over 795 patients were successfully treated
and discharged in the past two months, the official said.

GNA

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