Cholera Kills Woman 2 Months After Wedding

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Cholera claimed another victim on Monday at Yaba area of Lagos, southwest Nigeria, after the victim was reported to have eaten the popular local Igbo salad known as Abasha.

The female victim, simply identified as Blessing, died on Monday, barely two months after she got married, at the Military Hospital, Yaba.

Doctors in the hospital had been battling to save her life since last Thursday when she contracted the disease.

The deathof Blessing brings to four the reported number of people that have died of cholera since the outbreak of the disease in Lagos two weeks ago.

Blessing was said to have been admitted for cholera at the military hospital along with another victim who survived.

A source close to the deceased, who was in shock told P.M.NEWS that Blessing got married in September, 2013 and lost her life less than two months later to cholera.

The deceased was said to have eaten Abasha last Thursday night. It was bought by her husband, who did not know that the government had identified Abasha as one of the local salad cholera could be contracted from.

The two of them ate the salad but only the wife contracted cholera and died, while the husband has no trace of the disease.

It was gathered that after eating the salad, the couple went to bed and at about 2 a.m., Blessing was said to have suddenly woken up and started vomiting and stooling several times before day break.

She was rushed to a hospital in the area and when the case was becoming critical, she was taken to the Military Hospital, Yaba for proper attention.

It was learnt that the deceased was getting better and would have been discharged Monday, but was said to have suddenly developed another complication.

She was reported to have stooled four times at short notice, while the doctor treating her was said to have changed her medication, which later aggravated the case and she died.

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There have also been reported cases of cholera in some parts o Lagos, P.M.NEWS learnt. Two pupils of Olumo Primary School, Onike, Iwaya area of Yaba were said to have contracted the disease.

At Meiran Primary Health Centre, Agbado-Oke-Odo on Monday, several children and adults with cases of serious stooling and vomiting were rushed to the centre. The doctor at the centre had a hectic day deciding whether the cases were cholera or not.

Last weekend, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said that there have not been any new cases of confirmed cholera in the state aside the three deaths earlier confirmed since the detection of the disease in the state.

Idris  said efforts were being made to curb the spread of the disease, noting that not all diarrheoa cases were cholera and added that various organs of the government had been working hard to prevent the spread.

“Following the notice alerting the public to the cases of cholera in some parts of the state, various organs of the government like the ministries of Health, Information and Strategy, Environment, Water Corporation, Waste Water Management Office, Rural Development and Water Regulatory Agency have risen to the occasion, and have been working tirelessly to contain the spread. Since that time, we have not recorded any new cases of confirmed cholera,” he said.

The commissioner stated that ongoing surveillance activities by his ministry has identified the consumption of a local salad called ‘Abasa’ and polluted well water as the common causes of cholera infection, stressing that the outcome of the investigation carried out on the local salad  showed that the sample contained germs which could cause cholera, typhoid and other serious diseases.

“We still need to identify other sources and the cooperation of the public in this regard is of utmost importance. We as a government will continue to carry out our responsibilities to the people, however the people themselves have a greater role to play by maintaining good personal, environmental hygiene and sanitation at all times,” Idris added.

He explained that cholera infection spread through the eating or drinking of contaminated food and water, saying that the spread was further enhanced by very poor personal hygiene and sanitation practices.

According to him, “cholera is very dangerous and kills within a short period of time if not treated properly. The death results from extensive loss of body fluid through diarrhea and vomiting. People who have died of it were observed to seek treatment very late and were brought to the hospitals in poor conditions.”

Idris urged members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspected cases of cholera to the nearest local government, as the disease should be suspected in any person who develops frequent rice water stool with or without vomiting, weakness, excessive loss of body fluid and dehydration.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga