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Cholera kills 6 in Lagos

The Lagos State Ministry of Health has raised the alarm over an upsurge of Cholera in some communities in Isolo local government area.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health Dr Jide Idris said 45 cases were line-listed by the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry. It was gathered that six deaths have been recorded among the 45 cases. Majority of the cases did not present with the classical rice-water stool, rather they presented with a typical diarrhoea and vomiting.
Idris said ano-rectal swabs were collected from 15 cases and taken to the Central Public Health Laboratory, Yaba.
Initially, there were no growths. However, continuous culture yielded Vibro cholerae from 7 out of the 15 samples. The Vibrio cholera was later confirmed to be Ogawa strain.
The main suspected source of infection is the salad called Abacha, a staple food of the residents of Isolo and adjourning local government areas. Some domestic wells within the communities are also suspected to be sources of infection.
Samples of the Abacha salad and well water were collected and sent to the Lagos State Drug Quality Control Laboratory for analysis.
The report of the analysis revealed the presence of Vibrio cholera, Salmonella species and E.coli in abacha and one of the 2 Well water samples.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoea disease, with or without vomiting, caused by a bacteria referred to as Vibro cholerae and it is transmitted through ingestion of food or water contaminated with infective faeces.
Food or water contamination is usually due to poor sanitation and the source of contamination is usually other cholera cases when their infective watery stool gets into food or drinking water supplies.
Prevention of cholera can be achieved through basic water sanitation, such as boiling water of unclean sources. Cholera can kill within hours if left untreated.
About 75% of people infected with V. cholera do not develop any symptoms, although the bacteria are present in their faeces for 7–14 days after infection and are shed back into the environment, potentially infecting other people.
Among people who develop symptoms, 80% have mild or moderate symptoms, while around 20% develop acute watery diarrhoea with severe dehydration.
This can lead to death if untreated. The case fatality of Cholera ranges from less than 1% in treated cases to as high as 50% in severe cases.
Cholera usually present clinically as nausea, profuse diarrhoea, vomiting (in early stages of illness), fever and leg cramp. Later presentation is dehydration, shock or coma.
The risk of contracting cholera is increased mainly by poor water and environmental sanitation, including open defecation.
“We have instituted measures towards quick containment and control of the outbreak. Our health workers, especially the Medical Officers of Health, Health Educators, Disease Surveillance/Notification Officers, Environmental Health Officers are in the community striving assiduously towards quick containment and control of spread of the disease. Chlorination of water supply has been intensified, awareness campaign is on-going and cases are been promptly diagnosed and appropriately managed in our hospitals,” Idris said.

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