Cholera – Nigeria

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26 people fell ill with Cholera following an outbreak in Enugu, Nigeria.

On July 16, 2021, the Enugu Ministry of Health received reports of 7 confirmed deaths due to a Cholera outbreak in the New Artisan Market. The patients presented with sudden onset of vomiting and passage of loose stool.

In addition to the 7 fatalities, 19 other people were identified with symptoms of Cholera. They were evacuated and hospitalized in the state teaching hospital where they were diagnosed.

Transmission mode was not stated but is typically due to contaminated water/food and poor hygiene. The state is educating inhabitants of the market on safe and hygienic practices.

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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