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LSG warns against open Defecation as five die from severe gastroenteritis

To prevent the spread of a potential cholera outbreak in Lagos State, members of the public have been urged to maintain high hygiene standards, ensure a clean environment, and avoid contaminated food or water.

The State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, called following an excess of severe gastroenteritis cases reported in Lagos in the last 48 hours.

Giving details on the surveillance reports submitted to the Ministry of Health, Professor Akin Abayomi stated that, cases of severe gastroenteritis were reported in communities around Eti Osa, Lagos Island, Ikorodu and Kosofe LGA, resulting in about 60 hospital admissions, noting that, ” sadly five deaths have been recorded mainly from patients presenting late with extreme dehydration”.

“We have activated a statewide heightened surveillance and response. The Ministry of Health Directorate of Environmental Health and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) have been alerted to investigate a possible water contamination source in the Lekki Victoria Island axis. We suspect a possible cholera outbreak; however, samples have been taken for confirmation. As of April 28, 2024, Nigeria reported 815 suspected cholera cases and 14 deaths across 25 states,” he said.

The Commissioner noted that following recent rains, Lagos State has seen a notable increase in cases of severe vomiting and watery stools, adding that urban slums and crowded areas with poor sanitation are particularly at risk.

Prof. Akin Abayomi explained that cholera is a highly contagious disease that causes severe diarrhoea and can be life-threatening, adding that it poses a significant health burden in areas with poor water treatment and sanitation, and could impact Lagos State.

“Cholera spreads through direct transmission by eating or drinking contaminated food or water, and indirect transmission due to poor sanitation and a lack of handwashing. Symptoms of cholera include severe watery diarrhoea, vomiting, rapid dehydration, muscle cramps, fever and sometimes collapse,” he said.

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