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Highly contagious cholera strain spreads in Lagos, Abayomi warns



The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, said laboratory tests carried out on samples have confirmed that the disease outbreak in the state is due to cholera and the identified strain is highly aggressive and contagious, with potential for widespread dissemination.

Abayomi made this known on his Instagram page @profakinabayomi on Monday while giving an update on the cholera outbreak in the state.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease caused by ingesting the bacteria— Vibrio cholerae— in contaminated water and food. Cholera can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea, and the severe forms of the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.


In Nigeria, cholera is an endemic and seasonal disease, occurring annually mostly during the rainy season and more frequently in areas with poor sanitation.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention warned the public of the increasing trend of cholera cases as the rainy season intensifies.

The centre noted that the 10 states contributing 90 per cent to the burden of the current cholera outbreak include Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa, and Lagos states.

There were 473,000 cholera cases reported to WHO in 2022 – double the number from 2021. A further increase of 700,000 cases was estimated in 2023.

The latest data from the World Health Organisation showed that a cumulative total of 145,900 cholera cases and 1,766 deaths were reported from 24 countries across five WHO regions, with Africa recording the highest numbers, followed by the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the Region of the Americas, the South-East Asia Region, and the European Region.

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The commissioner noted that through community-based case finding and contact tracing, the number of cases has peaked and is now declining.

The geographical distribution of suspected cases by Local Government Area showed that Lagos Island is the epicentre of the outbreak with 106 cases; followed by Kosofe 49; Eti-Osa 38; Lagos mainland 30; Ojo 17; Ikorodu 16; Kosofe 16; Shomolu 11.

Others are Surulere -nine; Apapa -eight; Mushin -eight; Ifako Ijaiye -eight; Mushin -five; Alimosho -four; Ajeromi Ifelodun -four; Oshodi-Isolo -three; Ikeja three; Ibeju Lekki -two; Badagry -two; Amuwo-Odofin -one.

He, however, disclosed that there are 17 confirmed cases out of 350 suspected cases and 15 deaths so far.

Abayomi said, “350 suspected cases of cholera were reported in 29 wards across multiple LGAs in Lagos State with 17 confirmed cases and 15 fatalities attributed to severe dehydration caused by delayed presentation.

“We are receiving support from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and international partners, including the WHO and United Nations Children’s Fund.

“Local Non-Governmental organisations are actively raising awareness and conducting community-based surveillance efforts.”

He also said the state is intensifying its public health campaigns in light of the Sallah celebrations and the associated transmission risks from gatherings and catering services, to prevent a resurgence.

“Suspected cases are receiving free treatment at our public health facilities, in line with public health response protocols,” he added.

Credit: Punch

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