JUST IN: “Deaths from cholera outbreak in Lagos now 29” – Health commissioner

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has announced an increase in fatalities from the ongoing cholera outbreak in the state, with 29 deaths and 579 suspected cases recorded across various local government areas.

During a multi-agency news conference on Monday, Prof. Abayomi provided updates on the outbreak and its impact on the population.

Abayomi confirmed laboratory results identifying 43 cases of cholera, with Lagos Island, Kosofe, and Eti Osa being the most affected areas.

He said the fatalities were largely attributed to severe dehydration, with many patients presenting too late for effective resuscitation, some being brought in already deceased.

“Most of these deaths were caused by patients presenting very late at a stage where we could not resuscitate them because they had severe dehydration, and many patients were actually brought in dead,” Abayomi stated.

He confirmed the presence of vibrio cholera subtype O1, a highly contagious strain known for causing significant illness.

The commissioner highlighted the predominance of cases among children, students, traders, and artisans, particularly in crowded areas.

He added that severe cases resulted in kidney failure due to dehydration, with some patients requiring renal dialysis to survive.

As of June 23, 30 patients remained hospitalized, but the number of new cases was reportedly declining.

The distribution of cases by healthcare facilities included 209 visits to general hospitals, 193 to primary healthcare centres, 152 to private hospitals, 14 to military/police hospitals, eight to tertiary hospitals, and 12 to unknown health centres.

Prof. Abayomi urged citizens to seek immediate medical attention if they experience symptoms such as watery diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, general malaise, and fever.

He reiterated the importance of prompt rehydration with oral rehydration salts (ORS) and reassured that cholera treatment is provided free of charge at public health facilities.

He also stressed preventative measures, including drinking safe water, eating thoroughly cooked food, maintaining high hygiene standards, and proper sanitation practices.

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