Cholera kills 50 in northern Nigeria in a week
21 October 2013, 17:17
Kano - Cholera has killed 50 people in northwest Nigeria in
the past week, health officials said Monday, in the latest outbreak of the
disease which has claimed thousands of lives across the country since 2010.
The latest infections struck Zamfara state where residents
began drinking water directly from streams and untreated wells after a main
water pipeline was forced to shut.
"We have recorded an outbreak of cholera in the past
one week in six local government areas of the state which has resulted in the
death of 50 people while several others have been hospitalised," Zamfara
state health commissioner Kabiru Janyau told AFP.
Road construction around state capital Gusau forced
officials to close a main pump leading to water shortages in several parts of
the state, Janyau said.
"People have turned to streams and open wells for
drinking water which led to the outbreak," he said.
Cholera, a highly contagious intestinal infection, is
transmitted by water soiled by human waste. The disease leads to diarrhoea,
dehydration and death if untreated.
Nigeria suffered cholera epidemics during the rainy seasons
of 2010 and 2011, with nearly 2 000 people killed over two years.
While 2012 saw few reported infections, health officials
warn that Nigeria remains vulnerable to further outbreaks because of its high
population density and poor sanitation in many areas.
Outbreaks are most common during the rainy season, which
roughly runs from April to October.
Eight people died and ten others were hospitalised from
cholera infections in southern Oyo state last month.