No fewer than 20 people have been confirmed dead following an outbreak of gastroenteritis known as Cholera in Bauchi State.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Aliyu Maigoro Mohammed, confirmed the development in a briefing in Bauchi, on Tuesday.
Dr Maigoro explained that 322 cases have so far been confirmed in nine out of the 20 local government areas in the state.
He said nine deaths were recorded in Bauchi Local Government out of 147 cases, four in Misau out of 31 cases, three in Toro out of 58 cases, three in Ningi out of 51 cases and one in Giade out of 10 cases.
He said Warji recorded 16 cases with no death, Ganjuwa recorded seven cases with zero death, while Darazo and Shira recorded only one case respectively with no death.,
“As of today, we have 322 reported cases out of which we lost about 20 patients. This brings the fatality rate to almost 6.2,” Dr Maigoro said.
“Based on the epidemiological pattern and the clinical diagnosis, the physicians and response team are aware of the case definition and we have been following this event closely.”
The index case for this outbreak is a 37-year-old housewife who complained of abdominal pains, diarrhea, and vomiting at the General Hospital in Burra, on April 24.
Health authorities in the state suspect that the water supply in the affected communities is responsible for the outbreak.
According to Dr Maigoro, the Health Ministry, through the Primary Health Care Development Agency, responded immediately to prevent the spread to other communities and it was discovered that there was an ongoing outbreak of similar diseases in neighbouring Sumaila and other LGAs of Kano State.
Due to the outbreak, the state has activated its rapid response team and isolation centres in all the general hospitals of the affected local government areas, while four cholera treatment units have also been activated in the Bauchi metropolis.
The four cholera treatment units activated are at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital; Specialist Hospital, Bauchi; Urban Maternity; and Primary Health Center, Kandahar.
Health officials are working with the community and religious leaders to sensitise local residents, Dr Maigoro said.