Cholera – Niger
Cholera epidemic in Niger propagated by torrential rains.
The outbreak is in the southern part of Niger, particularly the Zinder and Maradi regions. The area borders Nigeria, also affected by cholera.
600 total cases have been identified. Of the cases, 400 have been cured, 156 people are currently being treated, and 19 deaths have been reported.
Photo: Vibrio tasmaniensis bacteria, a close relative of Vibrio cholerae.
Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe. The main risk is severe dehydration, this happens sometimes within hours.
It is spread mostly by unsafe water and unsafe food that has been contaminated with human feces containing the bacteria. Under-cooked seafood is a common source.
Risk factors for the disease include poor sanitation, not enough clean drinking water, and poverty.
Cholera affects an estimated 3–5 million people worldwide and causes 28.800–130.000 deaths a year. Areas with ongoing risk include Africa and South East Asia, where it occurs in outbreaks.
Descriptions of cholera are found as early as the 5th century BC in Sanskrit.
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