Cholera: Death Toll Rises to 37 As Lagos Records 401 Cases

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No fewer than 37 deaths have been recorded in the current Cholera outbreak, which has hit 30 states, including Lagos and Ogun.

The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Dr Kemi Ogunyemi, in a statement on Thursday by the Director of Public Affairs in the state Ministry of Health, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, said the state had recorded an additional six cholera deaths as against the previous 15.

She said cholera cases had risen to 401 in the state.

On her part, the Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, told Newsmen that the state had recorded one death and 14 cases.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, in its recent report, said from January 1 to June 11, 2024, over 1,141 suspected and over 65 confirmed cases of cholera, resulting in over 30 deaths, had been reported from 96  local government areas in 30 states.

With the six additional deaths in Lagos, and one death in Ogun,  the fatalities are no fewer than 37.
 

The resumption of schools on Wednesday after the Sallah holiday could fuel the spread of the disease.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the International Organisation for Migration held an emergency meeting in Lagos over the cholera outbreak in the country.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease caused by ingesting the bacteria— Vibrio cholerae— in contaminated water and food. Cholera can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea, and the severe forms of the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

In Nigeria, cholera is an endemic and seasonal disease, occurring annually mostly during the rainy season and more frequently in areas with poor sanitation.

Giving the situation report in Lagos on Thursday, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health,  Ogunyemi, stated that Lagos Island remained the epicentre of the outbreak.

The special adviser, who stated this in the statement by the Director of Public Affairs in the state Ministry of Health,  Ogunbanwo, recalled in the last update, that the state recorded 350 cases and 15 deaths.

The statement partly read, “Following the last update on the cholera outbreak in Lagos, which reported 350 suspected cases and 15 fatalities, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Dr Kemi Ogunyemi, disclosed that the total number of cholera cases has increased to 401 across Lagos, with Lagos Island, Kosofe, and Eti Osa recording the highest numbers.

“Dr Ogunyemi revealed this today while providing an update on the outbreak after meeting with members of the Lagos State Public Health Emergency Operations Centre. She added that the death toll had also risen to 21, an increase of six from the previously reported 15 fatalities.”

According to Ogunyemi, the rise in cases was anticipated following the Sallah festivities, during which large gatherings occurred.

She, however, noted that suspected cases were subsiding across local government areas, particularly in previously affected LGAs due to the state government’s interventions and surveillance efforts.

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The Special Adviser stated that the government, through the Ministry of Health and other sister agencies, was maintaining rigorous surveillance and monitoring of the situation and implementing planned programmes and activities to curb the spread.

She advised that citizens seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms such as watery diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, general malaise, and fever, stressing that cholera treatment is provided free of charge at all public health facilities

In Ogun State, a 62-year-old woman in Ijebu-Igbo has died of cholera.
 

It was gathered that the outbreak which occurred three days ago, also left five other persons hospitalised.

The deceased, it was gathered contracted the disease from her son who is now among those hospitalised.

The state commissioner for Health, Coker confirmed the incident to one of our correspondents on Thursday.

Coker said 14 cases of cholera had been reported from four local government areas; Ota, Abeokuta South, Obafemi Owode and Ijebu North.

According to her, five other persons had also been hospitalised.

She stated, “A 62-year-old lady who contracted cholera from her sick son died in Ijebu Igbo. Five others have also been hospitalised across four local government areas of Ota, Abeokuta South, Obafemi Owode, and Ijebu North

“The cumulative total cases since last week are 14 with one fatality”, Coker said.

She urged residents of the state to maintain good hygiene and avoid drinking water from unknown sources.

“I want to call on Ogun people to keep calm and be on the alert for anyone with the symptoms of cholera. They should report any suspected case of cholera to our disease surveillance team”, Coker said.

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