On Sunday, Janet Ekpeyong, head of the Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said that at least 20 people have been killed so far in an outbreak of cholera in Nigeria's southern Cross River state.
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Local authorities have launched an investigation into the outbreak recorded across 10 villages in the Abi local government area of the state between Thursday and Saturday.
Over 30 people have been so far hospitalized. Human and material resources have been deployed to the affected villages to prevent a further spread of the highly virulent disease.
"We are applying every possible means to halt transmission as we have gone across the community sensitizing the people on the possible ways of managing the disease," Ekpeyong said, adding that a response team with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nigerian Red Cross, and experts on sanitation is on ground to provide support to the residents.
As a measure to manage the outbreak, the government had so far established communication with the community leaders to ensure their communities adhere to hygiene protocols to end cholera and other related illnesses in that part of the country.
Ekpeyong also said that the treatment of the water source and fumigation was ongoing, noting the community had been grappling with the challenges of potable water and poor health facilities.
Cholera is characterized in its most severe form by the sudden onset of acute watery diarrhea that can lead to death by severe dehydration. The cholera outbreak is frequently reported in Nigeria due to the lack of potable water supply, especially in densely populated areas.