Cholera: Nigeria Reports 79 Dead, 1,336 Suspected Cases In 2023

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Cholera outbreak
Children fetching polluted, contaminated water.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease and Prevention Control (NCDC) has issued a report stating that the country has recorded 79 deaths and 1,336 suspected cases of cholera in 2023.

The report highlighted that cholera is a severe diarrhoeal illness caused by the Vibrio cholera bacteria, which infects the intestine and can be fatal. The infection spreads through the consumption of contaminated food and water, leading to mild or severe symptoms.

The report noted that 12 states across 43 local government areas in Nigeria have reported suspected cases of cholera, with a case fatality ratio of 5.9 per cent. These states include Abia, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kano, Katsina, Niger, Ondo, Osun, Sokoto and Zamfara, with the most affected age groups being males between ages 15 and 24 years and females above age 45.

Six states, including Cross River, Ebonyi, Abia, Niger and Zamfara, accounted for 96 per cent of all cumulative cases. Fifteen LGAs across nine states in Nigeria, including Ebonyi, Cross River, Ondo, Bayelsa, Abia, Katsina, Sokoto, Niger and Zamfara, reported more than five cases each this year.

The NCDC assured the public that it would continue its training on cholera surveillance, hotspot mapping, and state-level preparedness and response plans.

However, Nigeria remains vulnerable to cholera due to its endemic and seasonal nature. The disease usually occurs during the rainy season and is more prevalent in areas with poor sanitation.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), at least 24 countries worldwide continue to report cholera cases. As per historical transmission patterns and seasonality, many regions are currently in low or inter-epidemic transmission periods, indicating that the number of cases may increase in the coming months.

Racheal Abujah
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