NCDC sounds alarm as cholera outbreak claims 30 lives across Nigeria

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has issued a public health advisory following an alarming cholera outbreak across Nigeria, reporting 65 confirmed cases and 30 deaths from January 1 to June 11, 2024.

The outbreak has spread across 96 local governments in 30 states, highlighting a concerning trend exacerbated by the ongoing rainy season.

NCDC’s alert comes amidst a recent surge in cases, notably in Lagos State, where approximately 60 hospital admissions and five deaths were recorded within 48 hours.

“Cholera is a highly contagious food and water-borne disease,” NCDC emphasized in their advisory, outlining transmission risks linked to contaminated food and water sources, poor sanitation practices, and inadequate hand hygiene.

The symptoms of cholera include sudden onset of acute, painless watery diarrhea, sometimes accompanied by vomiting and fever.

NCDC underscored that severe cases can lead to rapid dehydration and death within hours, although many individuals may exhibit mild symptoms or remain asymptomatic.

The disease, however, is treatable through early detection and prompt administration of oral rehydration solution (ORS) to replace lost fluids and electrolytes, alongside appropriate antibiotic therapy.

To prevent further spread, NCDC urged the public to ensure access to safe drinking water, practice proper sanitation and waste disposal, and maintain rigorous personal hygiene practices including frequent handwashing with soap and clean water. They cautioned against consuming raw or undercooked food, emphasizing the importance of thorough washing of fruits and vegetables.

The advisory also discouraged open defecation and indiscriminate refuse dumping, stressing the need for proper waste management and sewage clearance to mitigate environmental contamination.

“If you or anyone you know experiences sudden watery diarrhea, seek immediate medical attention and refrain from self-medication,” NCDC advised, urging vigilance among healthcare providers in adhering to standard safety precautions.

NCDC highlighted its collaborative efforts through the National Cholera Technical Working Group, involving federal ministries, international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, and other stakeholders.

This multi-sectoral approach includes risk communication, active case surveillance, laboratory diagnosis, treatment, provision of response supplies, and hygiene interventions across affected states.

As the cholera outbreak continues to pose a significant public health challenge, NCDC reiterated its commitment to supporting affected states and coordinating comprehensive response efforts to curb further transmission and mitigate the impact on communities nationwide.

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