Published On: Wed, Jun 18th, 2014

Cholera in Nigeria: 22,000 cases reported in first half of 2014

The cholera outbreak in Nigeria that has affected at least 17 states has sickened some 22,000 people during the first 5 1/2 months of 2014.

According to a report in This Day Live today, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu announced the cholera numbers during the opening ceremony of a water sanitation workshop in Abuja.



“Cholera has remained one of the major public health challenges in our society, despite our spate of development. No doubt many states refused to report it’s occurrence to the federal ministry of health, until it gets out of hand. This year alone, as at week 22 (January 1-June 8) outbreaks have been reported in 17 states with accumulated cases of 22, 347, with 288 deaths,” he said.

“Reports showed that while the outbreak was sustained in Makurdi, Benue State, due to the consumption of polluted water from the Benue River, that of Bauchi continued unabated due to poor hygiene practices and erratic water supply from public water from doubtful sources,” Chukwu added.

Cholera, caused by  the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, 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.

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. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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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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