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Published On: Tue, Oct 22nd, 2013

Nigeria: Zamfara cholera death toll up to 50

In a follow-up to an earlier report, the death toll due to the outbreak of cholera in Zamfara State in Nigeria has climbed to 50, according to the Nigerian news source, Leadership Tuesday.

Vibrio cholerae on TCBS agar. Photo/CDC

Vibrio cholerae on TCBS agar. Photo/CDC

According to one resident who spoke to the BBC, he says that the cholera outbreak is spreading to other communities despite the measures taken by the state government.

“Outbreak of the disease is as a result of paucity of potable water in the affected areas,” he said.

The state commissioner of health, Alhaji Kabiru Janyau, said that the state government was only aware of 50 death cases since the disease erupted. This number contrasts with the 130 deaths the news agency suggests are linked to cholera.

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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  1. Cholera spreads in Nigeria: Lagos, Plateau and Oyo states report the disease - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] a follow-up to a report Tuesday concerning a cholera outbreak in Zamfara State in Nigeria, more cases and deaths are being reported from other areas of the West African […]

  2. Nigeria: Zamfara cholera death toll up to 50 – The Global Dispatch | COMMUNITY OF NIGERIA says:

    […] Nigeria: Zamfara cholera death toll up to 50The Global DispatchAccording to one resident who spoke to the BBC, he says that the cholera outbreak is spreading to other communities despite the measures taken by the state government. “Outbreak of the disease is as a result of paucity of potable water in the affected …and more » […]

  3. Nigeria: Zamfara cholera death toll up to 50 | Rivers State News says:

    […] Culled from :Here […]

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