At least, six persons have been confirmed dead in Isolo Local Government Area of Lagos State after eating contaminated cassava delicacy, otherwise known as Abacha, a local food of the people of the South-East geopolitical zone.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who briefed newsmen on the development at the state’s secretariat on Thursday, said that 39 other persons were under observation and receiving treatment at public and private health facilities in Isolo.
According to Idris, seven out of the 15 samples taken to the Public Health Laboratory, Yaba, after an upsurge of diarrhoea cases was reported in some communities in Isolo, tested positive to vibro cholerae.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoea disease with or without vomiting caused by a bacteria referred to as vibro cholerae and it is transmitted through ingestion of food or water contaminated with infected faeces.
He stated, “Six deaths were recorded among the 45 cases. Majority of the patients did not present with the classical rice-water stool, rather they presented with atypical diarrhoea and vomiting.
“After a thorough analysis of the ano-rectal swabs that were collected from 15 cases, vibrio cholerae was confirmed and found to be the Ogawa strain of the virus.
“Twenty-two of the 26 that were being managed at the Isolo General Hospital and the Lagos Mainland Hospital have been discharged, one died, while three are still on admission at the Lagos Mainland Hospital. The three patients are still on admission but they are in stable condition.”
The commissioner noted that water and food analysis done at the Lagos State Drug Quality Control Laboratory showed that Abacha, a local salad, that was eaten by many of the victims, was the source of the infection.
Idris said, “The main suspected source of infection is the salad called Abacha, a staple food that is consumed regularly in the area. Samples of the local salad and the well water they consume in the area revealed the presence of vibrio cholerae, Salmonella species and E.coli in Abacha and the water sample taken from one of the two wells in the area.”
Also in Agatu, Benue State, several Internally Displaced Persons are said to be suffering from cholera in various camps across the state.