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Cholera Outbreak: NCDC warns against contaminated water sources

by Haruna Gimba
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By Iyemah David

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has warned Nigerians against the potential spread of cholera through contaminated water sources.

Director –General of NCDC, Dr Jide Idris gave the warning in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.

Cholera is a deadly disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, associated with poor sanitation and limited access to clean water.

It has also been found in seemingly clean places, including affluent neighbourhoods, hotels and restaurants with poor hygiene practices among others.

Dr Idris said that recent reports of increase in cholera cases in some states prompted the agency to alert state authorities and citizens to take immediate precautions.

“The contamination typically happens due to inadequate sanitation and poor infrastructure, which allow sewage to infiltrate drinking water systems,” he said.

The NCDC boss advised states to ensure proper treatment of water before consumption.

“Boiling water and using water purification tablets can significantly reduce the risk of infection,” he said.

He said that the centre will   continue to monitor the situation closely, and is collaborating with state governments to implement measures to control the spread of the disease.

“Public awareness campaigns are also underway to educate people on the importance of safe water practices and hygiene.

“Cholera is a highly infectious disease that can cause severe dehydration and even death if not treated promptly.

“Symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting and muscle cramps. Early detection and treatment are crucial in managing the disease and preventing fatalities,” he said.

Dr Idris said that as the rainy season approaches, there was a need for heightened vigilance and proactive measures to safeguard public health.

He stressed the importance of community efforts in maintaining clean water supplies and proper waste management to combat the spread of cholera.

He said that between Jan. 1 to June 11, 1,141 suspected and 65 confirmed cases of cholera with 30 deaths were reported in 96 Local Government Areas in 30 States.

According to him, Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa and Lagos States, contribute 90 per cent to the burden of cholera in the country.

He said that the multi-sectoral National Cholera Technical Working Group, led by the NCDC and other partners have been providing support to the affected states.

He said that this support includes risk communication, active case search, laboratory diagnosis, case management, provision of response among others.

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