Lagos Confirms Aggressive Strain of Cholera, Opens Public Health Emergency Operations Centre

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Records 350 Suspected Cases, 17 Confirmed, 15 Fatalities

The Lagos State Government says laboratory investigation has confirmed that the soaring number of severe gastroenteritis cases witnessed across the state is due to an extremely contagious strain of cholera.

To curb the spread of the disease, the Ministry of Health swiftly swung into action with the opening of the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.

State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, in a statement disclosed that 350 suspected cases of cholera were reported in 29 wards across multiple LGAs in the state with 17 confirmed cases and 15 fatalities so far.

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Prof. Abayomi further revealed outcome of laboratory investigations over confirmed cases, stating that cholera sub type 0-1 was found to be responsible for the severe gastroenteritis. The subtype is described as a highly contagious strain, with new cases varying across LGAs.

According to him, “The laboratory investigation and test results have so far confirmed cholera sub type 0-1. This subtype is associated with more severe disease. The pattern of new cases per day varies across LGAS, according to our ongoing surveillance and monitoring updates.

“Although this is an increase from the numbers published 3 days ago, cases are now dramatically subsiding in previously affected LGAs due to our interventions and surveillance efforts, however we are recording some new cases in previously unaffected LGAS, signalling the need for residents to adhere strictly to precautionary, personal, and environmental hygiene measures.”

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention had earlier alerted Nigerians to an increasing trend of cholera cases as the rainy season progresses.

It identified 10 states responsible for 90 per cent of the current burden of the disease to include Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa, and Lagos states.

Prof. Abayomi, listed symptoms of cholera to include severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration, as he urged residents, especially during this Ileya festive season, to ensure they drink safe water, cook food thoroughly, maintain personal hygiene, wash hands regularly, use sanitiser, and avoid over crowded places.

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The commissioner hinted on other surveillance activities of the Directorate of Environmental Health of the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency of the Ministry of Environment, noting that samples of water sources, food and beverage in all the affected LGAS have been collected, while inspections of facilities are ongoing.

“We are prepositioning cholera kits in health facilities across the state. Our efforts to control the outbreak also include the distribution of Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS), public health education campaigns,” he explained.

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