Lagos govt traces cholera outbreak to consumption of unregistered tiger nut drink

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…As WHO announced resurgence of disease Africa, East Asia, America, Europe

The Lagos State government said the prevailing cholera epidemic in the state that has claimed more than 20 lives is caused by consumption of unregistered tiger nut drink.
The disease has been widely reported in Lagos Island, Eti-Osa, and Kosofe area councils.

She said the variant of the disease, vairiant, vibrio cholera subtype 01, is the most infectious and aggressive type.

The special adviser to the state governor on health, Ms Kemi Ogunyemi, disclosed in an interview with Punch Newspaper that the government had observed a rise in suspected cholera cases in Eti-Osa local government area and decided to carry out an investigation which pointed to the consumption of unregulated tiger nut drink
She said the product had not been registered with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

“We found empty bottles with a name on them, but we discovered that it wasn’t even registered with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the regulatory body that ensures the safety of consumables.

“There was a phone number and a name on the bottle, and we started tracing. We did contact tracing, similar to what we did with COVID-19.

“We combed the area to ask people where they got the drinks from. We couldn’t find any full bottles. We only found empty ones, which were of no use because we could not test them. The phone number on the bottle was not reachable.

“Cholera is also water-borne, so we took samples of the water to test it. The bottom line is that we took stool samples because different things cause diarrhoea.

“It could be anything else. We found out that it was confirmed cholera, specifically vibrio cholera subtype 01, which is the most infectious and aggressive type.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a resurgence of cholera cases across countries in Africa, East Asia, America, Europe, and the Eastern Mediterranean region.

This was contained in a bulletin issued by the organisation recently.

According to WHO, about 195,00 cholera cases have been reported in the five regions between January and May, with the Eastern Mediterranean Region reporting the highest number of cases of more than 98,000 cases from seven countries.

Africa has the second-highest cases, with 92,789 cases from 14 countries. A distant margin from what was found in America, where about 3700 cases from one country were recorded as the third highest from an affected region.

This data, WHO said, combines both suspected and confirmed cases of the disease.

In South-East Asia, WHO said, about 1,400 cases have been reported from two countries, and in Europe, 105 cases from one country.

Currently, more than 1,900 death cases have been reported globally due to the disease outbreak.

For death cases recorded, Africa ranks highest with 1,698 deaths, followed by the Eastern Mediterranean with 256 deaths.

America has recorded 13 deaths, South-East Asia has four deaths, and Europe has reported only one death.

“There were no reported cases in the Western Pacific Region,” WHO noted in its bulletin.

In May, the most recent data available, about 46,364 new cholera cases were reported from 19 countries across these regions.

This, WHO noted, is a 58 per cent increase from what was obtainable in the previous month.

“In the same period, 185 cholera-related deaths were registered, representing a 37 per cent decrease compared with the previous month,” WHO stated in the bulletin.

The highest number of fatalities was recorded in Africa, with 130 deaths from 10 countries.

According to WHO, the highest number of deaths was reported from Comoros, which had 54 deaths; Ethiopia, with 28 deaths; the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with 18; Zimbabwe, with 12 death cases; and the United Republic of Tanzania, with ten death cases.

WHO said these countries have also reported the region’s highest number of cholera infections within the past five months.