Approximately 200 people have been infected and 20 have died as a result of a cholera outbreak in the Rivers State in southern Nigeria, according to a Guardian News report.

Nigeria map/CIA

The outbreak in various communities of Andoni Local Government has been linked contaminated drinking water.

Andoni Caretaker Committee  Chairman, Emmanuel Ikwut said, “The health workers here traced the outbreak to bad source of water because the major source of water here are wells and streams. The boreholes we have lacked treatment facilities”.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson Parker  in a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday. maintained that the Local Government Area Rapid Response Team with state Emergency Response Team have responded swiftly to the situation.

Cholera, caused by  the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, is an acute bacterial intestinal disease characterized by sudden onset, profuse watery stools (given the appearance as rice water stools because of flecks of mucus in water) due to a very potent enterotoxin. The enterotoxin leads to an extreme loss of fluid and electrolytes in the production of diarrhea. It has been noted that an untreated patient can lose his bodyweight in fluids in hours resulting in shock anddeath.

The bacteria are acquired through ingestion of contaminated water or food through a number of mechanisms. Water is usually contaminated by the feces of infected individuals. Drinking water can be contaminated at the source, during transport or during storage at home. Food can get contaminated by soiled hands, during preparation or while eating.

Beverages and ice prepared with contaminated water and fruits and vegetables washed with this water are other examples. Some outbreaks are linked to raw or undercooked seafood. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page