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Published On: Tue, Feb 4th, 2014

Makurdi, Nigeria cholera outbreak kills at least 30

An outbreak of cholera in Makurdi, in Benue State has accounted in at least 30 deaths from the serious gastrointestinal disease, according to a report today in the Abuja news source, Leadership.

Nigeria

Image/CIA

Local hospitals are seeing scores of patients suffering from “relentless” vomiting and diarrhea due to the bacterial disease.

The medical director of Jolua Hospital, Dr. Adole Victor Edoh told LEADERSHIP that, “we have recorded over 80 per cent of cholera outbreak in this hospital and 97 per cent of the entire Wadata area is currently affected with this disease.”

Hospitals in the area are seeing several new cholera patients daily.

The paper also reports that certain hospitals in the area are denying the outbreak in Makurdi.

Cholera is an acute bacterial intestinal disease characterized by sudden onset, profuse watery stools (given the appearance as rice water stools because of flecks of mucus in water) due to a very potent enterotoxin. The enterotoxin leads to an extreme loss of fluid and electrolytes in the production of diarrhea. It has been noted that an untreated patient can lose his bodyweight in fluids in hours resulting in shock and death.

It is caused by the bacterium, Vibrio cholerae. Serogroups O1 and O139 are the types associated with the epidemiological characteristics of cholera (outbreaks).

The bacteria are acquired through ingestion of contaminated water or food through a number of mechanisms. Water is usually contaminated by the feces of infected individuals. Drinking water can be contaminated at the source, during transport or during storage at home. Food can get contaminated by soiled hands, during preparation or while eating.

Beverages and ice prepared with contaminated water and fruits and vegetables washed with this water are other examples. Some outbreaks are linked to raw or undercooked seafood.

The incubation for cholera can be from a few hours to 5 days. As long as the stools are positive, the person is infective. Some patients may become carriers of the organism which can last for months.

Cholera is diagnosed by growing the bacteria in culture. Treatment consists of replacement of fluids lost, intravenous replacement in severe cases. Antibiotic therapy can shorten the course of severe disease.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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