NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The number of new suspected cholera cases in Nigeria decreased by 38 percent the week ending September 19 (1,825) compared to the week ending September 12 (2,955), according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Image/Robert Herriman

The number of suspected cases now stands at 81,413 for 2021 to date, including 2,791 deaths.

Twenty-eight states and FCT have reported suspected cholera cases in 2021. These include Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, FCT, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Rivers and Zamfara.

Three states of Bauchi (19,309 cases), Kano (11,783 cases) and Jigawa (10,758 cases) account for 51% of all cumulative cases.

Children, ages 5 to 14, are the most affected age group in this outbreak.

According to the NCDC, Cholera is a water-borne disease characterized by sudden onset of profuse watery diarrhea, which can lead to sudden death as a result of dehydration, if not managed on time. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and weakness. Most infected people may only show mild symptoms or have no symptom at all. The time between an infection and appearance of symptoms of the disease is 2 hours to 5 days.

The disease is easily treatable, if detected early. Most infected people can be treated successfully through prompt administration of oral rehydration solution (ORS), with the goal to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. The ORS solution is available as a powder that can be reconstituted in boiled or bottled water. Without rehydration, approximately half the people with cholera die. With treatment, the number of fatalities drops to less than 1 percent. Severely dehydrated people may also need intravenous fluids.

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