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Experts alert to rising cholera, Lassa fever cases, others

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[FILE] Patient with Lassa Fever


• NCDC reports 744 suspected cholera episodes, 18 deaths in Adamawa, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Delta, Kano
As the rainy season peaks with imminent flooding in some states, experts have alerted to further rise in cases of cholera, Lassa fever (LF), Wild Polio Virus (WPV) and malaria.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in its national monthly update for cholera released yesterday said: “This is the period of the year with increased risk of cholera across the country.”

Public Health Physician and Lecturer, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Dr. Doyin Ogunyemi, told The Conversation: “…As in other developing countries, cholera outbreaks occur mainly during the rainy season in Nigeria although they also sometimes occur in the dry season.

“Flooding can cause septic tanks to contaminate surface water, especially open wells used for drinking and preparation of food. Contaminated floodwater from the rains can also flow to vegetables and fruits which, if not properly washed, can cause an outbreak….”

The NCDC disclosed that as at June 30, 2019, 744 suspected cases and 18 deaths with Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) of 2.42 percent were reported in Adamawa, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Delta and Kano since the beginning of 2019. It noted that active transmission of cholera in Kano, Bayelsa, and Adamawa since the first week of 2019, while cases in Bayelsa State have been declining in the last three weeks.

While adding that the Adamawa State Ministry of Health (SMOH) declared an outbreak of cholera on June 18, 2019, in three councils, it stated that 145 suspected cases and one death have been reported. The NCDC said the state’s team was leading response activities and a National Rapid Response Team (RRT) deployed to support Adamawa State, while its national multi-agency Cholera Technical Working Group (TWG) was coordinating preparedness and response in all states.

“In June, 119 new suspected cases were reported from Adamawa and Bayelsa states with no new death… During the month, 51 samples were collected, 23 tested; 11 Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) positive and 12 confirmed through stool culture. Of the confirmed cases, 39.7 percent are aged one-four years. Among all suspected cases, 55.6 percent are female and 44.3 percent male,” it said.

Also, latest figures on Lassa fever released yesterday showed that between July 1 and 7, 2019) 12 new confirmed cases were reported from Edo (five), Ondo (six) and Kebbi (one), three new deaths from Edo (two) and Ondo (one). Similarly, 2,959 suspected cases were reported from 22 states, of which 615 were confirmed positive, 17 probable and 2,327 negatives. The centre noted that since the 2019 outbreak, there have been 139 deaths in confirmed cases with CFR in confirmed cases, 22.6 per cent rise.

It noted that 22 states of Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi, Cross River and Zamfara, have recorded at least one confirmed case in 83 councils. Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) have warned that surging cases of polio have dashed hope that the disease might be eradicated in 2019.


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CholeraLassa feverNCDC
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