Big trouble! Two die as cholera outbreak hits Lagos

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Akinwunmi Ambde

At least two persons have been confirmed dead, while 25 other residents of Lagos State are receiving treatment in hospitals following an outbreak of cholera in three local government areas of the state

The Lagos State Government at a press conference in Alausa on Tuesday said the cases came like the typical diarrhoea and vomiting associated with cholera.

It added that the outbreak was due to the heavy rainfall being experienced and the aftermath of flooding in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, who was joined at the briefing by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, stated that the outbreak had been traced to the Somolu, Oshodi-Isolo, and Surulere local government areas.

He said, “Twenty-seven cases have been listed by our epidemiology/disease surveillance officers as of today, July 25, 2017. Two deaths were recorded from the 27 cases.”

Idris said six cases were recorded in Somolu LGA, adding that one of the patients died.

He explained that while four were managed at the Somolu General Hospital, one was managed at a private hospital, while one patient died at home.

“In Oshodi-Isolo LGA, two cases were recorded. One was managed at a private hospital and he is alive, while one died at home.  In Surulere LGA, 14 cases were reported and managed at Randle General Hospital. No death was recorded,” the commissioner said.

He stated that two other cases were managed at the Mainland Hospital with no death recorded, while three cases were managed at the Gbagada General Hospital.

“The main suspected source of infection is the contamination of water sources with faecal matter from faulty septic tanks and soakaway, following the heavy rainfall in the state. Samples of well water have been collected and sent to the Lagos State Drug Quality Control Laboratory. We are still expecting the results,” Idris added.

The commissioner asked people to use potable water, saying sanitation was critical in reducing the impact of cholera and other water-borne diseases.

“The clinical manifestations of cholera are nausea, profuse diarrhoea, vomiting (in early stages of illness), fever, and leg cramp. Later presentations are dehydration, shock or coma,” he added.

Idris said the government had instituted measures to contain the outbreak.

He said, “The medical directors of our general hospitals have been placed on alert and fact sheets on cholera forwarded to both public and private hospitals. Our community health workers are in the communities to prevent the spread of the disease. Chlorination of water supply has been intensified, awareness campaign is ongoing.”

The Lagos State Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote, urged residents to treat their water sources to reduce their risk of contracting cholera.

He said, “Many wells and boreholes will be contaminated by now and they need to be treated by chlorination. We also need to start washing our hands with soap and water after using the toilet. In areas where access to water is a challenge, please use sanitisers. We basically need to adopt the attitude we had towards hygiene during the Ebola outbreak.”Punch

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