The recent cholera outbreak in Enugu has claimed fourteen lives, a director in the state health ministry told newsmen.
Boniface Okoro, director, public health and disease control of the ministry, also said over eighty persons contracted the disease since last Friday when the outbreak was announced in the state.
THE WHISTLER recalls that the state health commissioner, Prof Emmanuel Obi, had, last week, confirmed the outbreak at the New Artisan Market in Enugu.
Prof Obi said nineteen persons were identified with the symptoms, adding that the ministry’s rapid response team investigated it, and ‘observed that the patients presented with sudden onset of passage of loose stool and vomiting’.
Mr Okoro confirmed that in the past five days since the outbreak, fourteen persons had died, adding that a majority of the infected persons were taken to Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane, for medical attention.
He said, “Seven persons died initially on Saturday, but as of Monday, seven more deaths were confirmed, raising the fatalities to fourteen.”
He attributed the outbreak to poor hygienic practices around the affected place.
Our correspondent reports that the state capital lacks potable water, and mainly relies on water tankers for the essential commodity.
The New Artisan market, where the outbreak occurred, is predominantly for cattle sales with a huge concentration of people from the northern parts of the country. The environment of the market is squalid, THE WHISTLER gathered.
A health expert, Dr Innocent Obekpa, told residents to boil the water they drink. In his words, “Nobody can confirm sources of water supplied by the vendors. New Artisan is also peculiar because of the activities of butchers and poor disposal of waste from animal processing.”