Cholera outbreak: Lagos Island records highest number of 106 suspected cases — Commissioner

By Sodiq Adelakun

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has disclosed that Lagos Island has recorded the highest number of suspected cholera cases, with 106 cases out of 350 suspected cases in the state.

The Commissioner made this known through his official social media account on Monday, while providing an update on the state’s cholera outbreak.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cholera is a highly infectious disease caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.

If left untreated, cholera can lead to severe acute watery diarrhoea and even death within hours.

Prof. Abayomi confirmed that laboratory tests have confirmed the outbreak to be caused by cholera, with the identified strain being highly aggressive and contagious, posing a significant risk of widespread dissemination.

The Commissioner’s disclosure has raised concerns about the potential spread of the disease in the state.

Speaking on morbidity and mortality, Abayomi disclosed that 350 suspected cases of cholera were reported in 29 wards across multiple local government areas (LGAs) in the state.

According to him, there are 17 confirmed cases and 15 fatalities attributed to severe dehydration caused by delayed presentation at health facilities.

The commissioner further said that the geographical distribution of suspected cases by LGAs revealed that Lagos Island was the epicentre of the outbreak with 106 cases; followed by Kosofe 49; Eti-Osa 38; Lagos mainland 30 and Ojo 17.

Other LGAs affected are Ikorodu 16; Kosofe 16; Shomolu 11, Surulere has nine; Apapa -eight; Mushin-eight; Ifako Ijaiye -eight; Mushin -five; Alimosho -four; Ajeromi Ifelodun -four; Oshodi-Isolo -three; Ikeja three; Ibeju Lekki -two; Badagry -two; and Amuwo-Odofin -one.

“Through community-based case finding and contact tracing, we have observed that the number of cases has peaked and is now significantly declining,” he said.

He stressed that the state was intensifying its public health prevention campaigns to prevent a resurgence.

According to him, suspected cases are receiving free treatment at the state’s public health facilities, in line with public health response protocols.

Abayomi said that the state was receiving support from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and International partners, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF.

He added that local non-governmental organisations are actively involved in raising awareness and conducting community-based surveillance efforts.

On cholera causes and transmission, Abayomi disclosed that cholera is caused by contaminated water and food and transmission common in areas with inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation, and insufficient hygiene.

He said that common symptoms include severe diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, thirst and muscle cramps.

“Symptoms can appear within a few hours to five days after infection,” he warned.

On prevention measures, Abayomi advised citizens to drink safe water that’s boiled, treated, or bottled and eat food that’s thoroughly cooked and hot, and avoid raw foods.

He advised citizens to maintain high hygiene by washing hands with soap and clean water regularly and using proper sanitation facilities and disposing of waste properly.

Speaking on treatment, Abayomi stressed that immediate action on rehydration was key, adding that oral rehydration salts (ORS) are crucial.

He added that medical treatment would be required for severe cases that may require intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

Abayomi advised the public to seek prompt medical help if symptoms occur and report any suspected cases to health hotlines: 08023169485 08137412348, or call 767 or 112.

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