Cholera: An Alarming Toll Nationwide

Cholera: An Alarming Toll Nationwide
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Health professionals have explained that cholera is an acute diarrhea disease that can kill within hours if left untreated.  Unverified statistics have been replete over cholera infestation across the country. 

Researchers have estimated that each year there are 1.3 to 4.0 million cases of cholera, and 21 000 to 143 000 deaths worldwide due to cholera (1).

Most of those infected will have no or mild symptoms and can be successfully treated with oral rehydration solution.

Severe cases will need rapid treatment with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

Provision of safe water and sanitation is critical to prevent and control the transmission of cholera and other waterborne diseases.

Oral cholera vaccines should be used in conjunction with improvements in water and sanitation to control cholera outbreaks and for prevention in areas known to be high risk for cholera. A global strategy on cholera control, ending Cholera: a global roadmap to 2030, with a target to reduce cholera deaths by 90% was launched in 2017.

Cholera is an acute diarrhea infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Cholera remains a global threat to public health and an indicator of inequity and lack of social development. Researchers have estimated that every year, there are roughly 1.3 to 4.0 million cases, and 21 000 to 143 000 deaths worldwide due to cholera (1).

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Cholera is an extremely virulent disease that can cause severe acute watery diarrhea. It takes between 12 hours and 5 days for a person to show symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water (2). Cholera affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated.

Most people infected with V. cholerae do not develop any symptoms, although the bacteria are present in their faeces for 1-10 days after infection and are shed back into the environment, potentially infecting other people.

Among people who develop symptoms, the majority have mild or moderate symptoms, while minorities develop acute watery diarrhoea with severe dehydration. This can lead to death if left untreated.

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During the 19th century, cholera spread across the world from its original reservoir in the Ganges Delta in India. Six subsequent pandemics killed millions of people across all continents. The current (seventh) pandemic started in South Asia in 1961, reached Africa in 1971 and the Americas in 1991. Cholera is now endemic in many countries.

There are many serogroups of V. cholerae, but only two – O1 and O139 – cause outbreaks. V. cholerae O1 has caused all recent outbreaks. V. cholerae O139 – first identified in Bangladesh in 1992 – caused outbreaks in the past, but recently has only been identified in sporadic cases. It has never been identified outside Asia. There is no difference in the illness caused by the two serogroups.

AljazirahNigeria frowns at the professional talks which may not offer any fruitful answers. We urge Nigerians to follow through with sanitary habits that engender good living.

Phenomenally, health professionals ought to be cautious over their attitude on health matters. It is annoying that the so-called health workers who should lead the way in the drive for healthy living are rather the worst culprit in that regard.

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AljazirahNigeria is against the long-drawn battle with health professionals which is snowballing into untold conflagration. We urge good spirited Nigerians and advocate groups to swing into action to bring the situation to a rest.

Many avoidable deaths are being recorded following this impasse in which the government has been largely faulted.  While we would not be drawn into the nit gritty of that situation, we urge Nigerians to be wary and not be drawn into any careless controversy, especially when our health is in question.

We are doing this in the interest of our teeming audience who should be wary of the dangers of the now ravaging cholera infestation.


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Cholera Outbreak