Cholera outbreak kills 40 in northern Nigeria: official

Aug 12, 2010

A cholera outbreak has killed 40 people while 115 others have been infected in northern Nigeria's Borno State in the past week, a senior official said on Thursday.

"We have recorded in eight of the 27 local governments in the state with 40 fatalities and 115 infections," state commisioner for local government affairs Abdurrahman Terab told AFP by telephone from Maiduguri, the state capital, which he said has been worst hit.

Health officials and drugs have been deployed to the affected areas while investigations into the outbreak have commenced, he said.

He said the refusal of those infected to be quarantined in designated health centres has led to the spread of the disease.

More than 260 people died of cholera in four northern states in the last quarter of 2009.

Cholera is a water-borne disease and can also be transmitted by food that has been in contact with sewage.

It causes serious diarrhoea and vomiting leading to dehydration. With a short incubation period, it can be fatal if not treated in time.

Health experts say a surge in cholera outbreaks is noticeable in Nigerian villages in the rainy season when rain water washes dirt into open wells and ponds which most villages rely on for drinking.

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