No fewer than 319 suspected cases of cholera and 20 deaths have been reported in Borno State, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, a parastatal in the Federal Ministry of Health, said on Tuesday.
The NCDC said the disease had affected six areas in Borno State with Muna Garage Internally Displaced Persons’ Camp on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the state capital, being the worst affected.
The National Coordinator and Chief Executive of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, confirmed the figure in a statement made available to our correspondent.
He said the health ministry had mobilised support to curtail the spread of the disease.
Ihekweazu stated, “The Federal Ministry of Health through its agencies – NCDC and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency – is working closely with WHO, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), United Nations Children’s Fund and other humanitarian agencies in Borno, to support the state government in curtailing the spread of the outbreak.
“As of September 2, 2017, 319 suspected cases and 20 deaths had been reported in the state.”
The NCDC said it had deployed a rapid response team to support the Borno State Ministry of Health in coordination, contact identification and tracing, laboratory investigation as well as case management.
Ihekweazu added, “Cholera is a disease that causes acute watery diarrhoea in children and adults. The disease is most often spread by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated and is more common in overcrowded areas with poor sanitation and hygiene practices.
“When severe, cholera is characterised by sudden onset of severe acute watery diarrhoea which can lead to death as a result of dehydration. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and weakness.
“Members of the public are urged to report all sick persons with these signs or symptoms to a health care facility immediately for early initiation of treatment.”
The NCDC urged all states to report cases of cholera immediately, while improving on the timeliness of their reporting generally to prevent widespread outbreak.