by Rathi Manohar on  August 19, 2010 at 9:56 PM Tropical Disease News
 Nigeria Sees a Rise in Cholera Death Toll
The cholera epidemic in Bauchi, Nigeria's northern state has claimed more casualties with the number rising from 47 to 67 in the past one week, health officials have stated.

"We have recorded 20 more deaths in the last week from cholera outbreak. The death toll now stands at 67 in the last eight weeks," Musa Dambam, director of Bauchi Primary Health Care Development Agency told AFP by phone from Bauchi.

"Infection has risen from 1,200 patients to 1,742. The increase in the death and infection figures was as a result of drinking of contaminated water," he said.

Dambam said that heavy rains had washed contaminants into ponds and wells.

"We have intensified health campaigns on the radio, urging people to boil their water before drinking," he added.

These figures bring cholera death toll in Bauchi and Borno states to 107 while a total of 1,857 people have been infected by the water-borne disease also in the two states.

More than 260 people died of cholera in four northern states in the last quarter of 2009.

Cholera can also be transmitted by food that has been in contact with sewage.

It causes serious diarrhoea and vomiting leading to dehydration. With a short incubation period, it can be fatal if not treated in time.

Health experts say a surge in cholera outbreaks is noticeable in Nigerian villages in the rainy season when rainwater washes dirt into open wells and ponds which most villages rely on for drinking.

Source: AFP

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