Cholera kills 1,500 Nigerians in 2010

The UN Children’s Fund says about 1,555 people have died of cholera in Nigeria this year, marking a likely peak in a three-year-old surge in the disease in the country.

“Nigeria is reporting its highest caseloads of cholera in recent years, 38,173 cases,

Nigerian child suffering cholera

including 1,555 deaths as of October 20,” UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said on Friday in Geneva, AFP reported.

“My understanding is that it is peaking right now. It seems like… it has been contained but there are still new cases,” from already affected states in the north, she added.

The Red Cross estimates that women and children account for 80 percent of this year’s cases.

“Seasonal factors, such as the rainy season with flooding, as well as poor hygiene conditions and population movements in the area, contribute certainly to this unusually higher incidence of cholera,” said World Health Organization spokeswoman Fadela Chaib.
Cholera is transmitted by water and food that has been in contact with unclean water, contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae.

Serious diarrhea and vomiting, leading to dehydration, are the main symptoms associated with cholera. As the disease has a short incubation period, it can be fatal if not treated on time by rehydrating and administering antibiotics.