Cholera Spreads in Nigeria, Toll Rises to 88

by VR Sreeraman on Oct 1 2009 1:55 PM

Cholera has killed 11 people in the past 10 days in northern Nigeria, taking the death toll from the latest outbreak to 88, officials said Wednesday.

The latest toll was recorded in Jigawa, a previously untouched state, where at least 400 //new cases emerged in under a fortnight.

"We have received reports of a cholera outbreak in Bashuri village in Dutse local government area where 11 people have died and 400 other persons infected by the disease hospitalised in the last 10 days," Jigawa health commissioner Ibrahim Mohammad Nashabaru told AFP.

Village traditional chiefs put the death toll at 20, blaming the outbreak on a recent visit to Adamawa state by a resident of the village.

"So far 20 peope have died in the outbreak and over 400 others are in hospital," Bashuri deputy chief Sabo Saleh said in a telephone interview.

Cholera has claimed 77 lives in recent weeks in Adamawa state, leaving nearly 1,000 people hospitalised since early early August.

"At the moment we have recorded 77 deaths and 934 cases in the cholera outbreak," said Adamawa information commissioner Musa Bubakari on the telephone from Yola, the state capital.

In September last year, a spate of cholera outbreaks in northern Nigeria claimed almost 100 lives in Katsina, Zamfara and Bauchi states.

Cholera is a water-borne intestinal infection and can also be transmitted by contaminated food. It causes serious diarrhoea and vomiting leading to dehydration. With a short incubation period, it is potentially fatal.