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Death toll from Lagos cholera outbreak increases to 15

Akin Abayomi, Lagos commissioner for health, Akin Abayomi, Lagos commissioner for health,

The Lagos government says 15 people have died following reports of a severe outbreak of gastroenteritis caused by cholera.

Akin Abayomi, Lagos commissioner for health, gave the update on Saturday while speaking on measures taken to control the cholera outbreak in the state.

On June 11, the commissioner said five people died while about 60 residents were hospitalised as a result of a suspected cholera outbreak in some parts of Lagos.

He said cases of severe gastroenteritis were reported in communities around Eti Osa, Lagos Island, Ikorodu, and Kosofe LGAs.

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In a statement on Saturday, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, director of public affairs at the ministry of health, quoted Abayomi as saying that Lagos has recorded “350 suspected cases of cholera in 29 wards across multiple LGAs”.

Ogunbanwo said Lagos has recorded “17 confirmed cases and 15 fatalities so far”.

“Following the initial alert and advisory issued by the Lagos state ministry of health on the cholera outbreak, the Lagos state government has activated its public health emergency operations centre (PHEOC) at Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos,” the statement reads.

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“The PHEOC was convened to address the increasing number of severe gastroenteritis cases across multiple local government areas (LGAs) in Lagos state.

“The laboratory investigation and test results have so far confirmed cholera sub-type O-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,” Ogunbanwo said.

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“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) and public health education campaigns.

“During this Ileya festive season, residents are advised to drink safe water, cook food thoroughly, maintain personal hygiene, wash hands regularly, use sanitiser, and avoid overcrowded places.

“Reporting symptoms like watery diarrhoea or vomiting immediately is also crucial to save lives and prevent transmission to other members of the community.

“Treatment for suspected cholera is provided free of charge at all government facilities as part of the government’s standard public health response.”

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