In the last ten days alone, more than a hundred people died of the disease in the state of Jigawa, while in the city of Kano, medical authorities have declared that around 500 people died of the disease last weekend.
Cholera is a highly infectious communicable, disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, causing an acute infection of the intestine. The bacterium is water-borne and incidence of the disease is high in overpopulated areas with poor sanitation.
Common sources of infection are drinking contaminated water or eating foods which have been prepared with it, such as vegetables, salads and fruits. Eating poorly cooked seafood prepared from crustaceans which have lived in these waters is also dangerous.
There are mild and acute forms of cholera, the mild form provoking nothing more than diarrhoea, but the acute form can kill the patient within three to four hours, provoking acute diarrhoea and vomiting and severe pains in the limbs, a reflection of acute dehydration.
Re-hydration is the main therapy used in treatment of this disease and an early administration of oral re-hydration salts (ORS) saves the patient in most cases. The fact that so many people are dying in Nigeria means that either there is insufficient medical treatment, or people are ignorant of the symptoms and try alternative therapies which are not always effective.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru