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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Lagos issues guidelines as cholera kills five in two days

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The Lagos State Government has called for increased surveillance and precautionary measures following the death of five people from a suspected cholera outbreak in 48 hours.

According to a statement on Tuesday, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, revealed that serious cases of gastroenteritis have been reported in communities around Eti Osa, Lagos Island, Ikorodu and Kosofe LGAs.

Abayomi said the outbreak led to around 60 hospital admissions, adding that the deaths were mainly due to patients with extreme dehydration who arrived late to the hospital.

The commissioner noted that following the recent rains, Lagos State has recorded an increase in cases of severe vomiting and liquid stools, adding that urban slums and crowded areas with poor sanitation are particularly at risk.

“We have activated increased surveillance and response throughout the state. “The Environmental Health Directorate of the Ministry of Health and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) have been alerted to investigate a possible source of water contamination in the Lekki Victoria Island axis,” the statement read.

As of April 28, 2024, data from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) shows that Nigeria has recorded 815 suspected cases of cholera and 14 deaths in 25 states.

Cholera, prevention

Abayomi explained that cholera is a highly contagious disease that causes severe diarrhea and can be life-threatening, adding that it poses a significant health burden in areas with poor water treatment and sanitation.

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“Cholera spreads through direct transmission through eating or drinking contaminated food or water, and through indirect transmission due to poor hygiene and lack of handwashing.

“Symptoms of cholera include severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, rapid dehydration, muscle cramps, fever and sometimes collapse,” he said.

He highlighted treatment options for cholera, including rehydration using oral rehydration salts (ORS) for mild to moderate dehydration, adding that intravenous fluid is used for severely dehydrated patients and is administered only in medical facilities and under supervision of medical personnel.

READ ALSO: Cholera can kill you within hours if untreated: how to recognize the symptoms and protect yourself

“To prevent cholera, citizens are urged to ensure safe drinking water by boiling, chlorinating or using bottled water, and avoiding frozen products made with untreated water. It is essential to maintain proper sanitation by using toilets, safely disposing of feces, and avoiding open defecation.

“It is essential to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands with soap and clean water regularly, especially before eating, preparing food and after using the bathroom, and following food safety guidelines,” the commissioner advised.

He advised that citizens should rely on the Lagos State Ministry of Health, NCDC and local accredited health centers for guidance, advice and updates on prevention, treatment and management.

“We encourage everyone to adopt these preventive measures and report any suspected cases promptly to safeguard our communities,” he said.

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