26th August, 2010
The Federal Ministry of Health has issued a warning about looming cholera epidemic in the country.
The warning comes in the wake of the death of 352 victims of the water-borne disease.
So far, 6,400 cases have been recorded across 12 of the 36 states in the country since June this following the onset of the rainy season.
â€œEpidemiological evidence indicates that the entire country is at risk,â€ the statement read.
Cholera is a fast-moving infection that causes diarrhea in victims, leading to severe dehydration and possible death. The infection is highly contagious yet easily preventable with clean water and sanitation.
The health ministry blamed the recent outbreak on heavy seasonal rains spreading the infection across rural communities without access to proper toilet facilities. In many areas, wells remain uncovered, allowing tainted water to flow into the communitiesâ€™ drinking water supplies.
The Nigerian cases comes as an outbreak in neighbouring Cameroon has killed 155 people out of 2,000 confirmed cases.
Meanwhile, the health ministry says a measles outbreak in four states has killed 83 and sickened more than 5,000 so far this year. Measles is usually characterized by coughing, rash and high fever, and is fatal in rare instances, though a vaccine exists to prevent the disease.
The outbreak comes after the World Health Organization warned in May that measles is making a rapid comeback in the world, as funding cuts for vaccination campaigns have allowed the disease to spread.