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Beverages Prepared With Unclean Water Can Spread Cholera – NCDC

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has said that beverages, ice, and drinks prepared with unclean or contaminated water can spread cholera.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease caused by the ingestion of the bacteria— Vibrio cholerae— in contaminated water and food, reports The PUNCH.

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Symptoms of cholera include acute profuse, painless watery diarrhoea (rice water stools) of sudden onset, with or without vomiting. It may be associated with nausea, profuse vomiting, and fever.

Experts say severe cases of cholera can lead to death within hours due to dehydration. However, about 80 per cent of infected people may only show mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all.

In Nigeria, cholera is an endemic and seasonal disease, occurring annually, mostly during the rainy season and more frequently in areas with poor sanitation.

The 10 states contributing 90 per cent to the current cholera outbreak burden include Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa, and Lagos states.

So far, from January 1 to June 11, 2024, cholera cases have been reported from 96 LGAs in 30 states, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts say cholera is prevalent in areas with high-density populations, poor water supply, and poor personal and environmental hygiene.

Earlier, the Director General of the NCDC, Dr Jide Idris disclosed that the agency is conducting a risk assessment, and assisting states to respond to the outbreak.

Today, the NCDC, on its X handle, NCDCgov, warned, “Beverages, ice and drinks prepared with unclean or contaminated water can spread #cholera.

“Protect yourself and your loved ones; do not buy or consume foods or drinks prepared with water from unreliable sources.”

On how to prevent the spread of the infection, the agency advised Nigerians to make water safe and use water from reliable sources.

It said, “Use water from reliable sources, boil water before drinking, store water in properly covered containers, ensure bottled water and pure water sachet is properly sealed before you drink it.”

On its website, the agency said the disease is easily treatable if detected early.

“Most infected people can be treated successfully through prompt administration of Oral Rehydration Solution to replace lost fluids and electrolytes, and appropriate antibiotics.

“The ORS solution is a powder that can be reconstituted in boiled or bottled water. Cholera can be deadly when infected people do not access care immediately.

Cholera can be prevented through ensuring access to safe, potable drinking water; proper sanitation and waste disposal; and appropriate hygiene including handwashing. Raw fruits and vegetables, food from street vendors, and raw or undercooked seafood should be avoided,” it added.

It urged state governments to prioritise action for solutions that ensure access to and use of safe water, basic sanitation, and proper hygiene practices in communities.

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