Lagos, Nigeria’s largest metropolis, is currently experiencing a devastating cholera outbreak that has claimed 24 lives and left hundreds hospitalized. As a densely populated city, Lagos often records the highest number of cases and fatalities during epidemics or pandemics. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lagos reported the highest number of deaths, with over 3,000 fatalities.

The recent cholera outbreak, which began last week, has alarmed many residents and neighboring states. The city’s vast population and the struggle for access to basic water and sanitation facilities exacerbate the situation for many communities.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), cholera is an acute diarrheal disease caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium, a gram-negative rod-shaped organism. This potentially life-threatening disease is primarily waterborne and can occur both endemically and epidemically.

In Nigeria, cholera is an endemic and seasonal disease, typically surfacing during the rainy season, particularly in areas with poor sanitation. The country experienced significant cholera outbreaks between 1970 and 1990, with major epidemics occurring in 1992, 1995-1996, and 1997.

The Federal Ministry of Health reported 37,289 cases and 1,434 deaths from cholera between January and October 2010. In 2011, there were 22,797 recorded cases, resulting in 728 deaths and a case-fatality rate of 3.2%.


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