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Lagos cholera outbreak links to tiger nut drink as death toll rises to 35

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The cause of the cholera outbreak in Lagos state has been linked to unregistered tiger Nut drinks as death rose to 35.

Recall that on Friday, Intel Region reported that the death toll of the cholera outbreak in Lagos has increased from 15 to 21, while infections also increased to 401 from 350.

At the last count, the government said Lagos Island, Kosofe, and Eti Osa recorded the highest numbers.

But in the latest update in his Instagram handle on Saturday, the state Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, said the number of confirmed cases in the nation’s commercial capital is now 417.

“As of June 20, 2024, an additional 6 suspected cholera cases have been reported, as illustrated in the accompanying graphs.

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“The situation report indicates 417 suspected cases, 35 confirmed cases, and 24 recorded deaths. The graphs depict the distribution of cases among the 20 LGAs in the state.

“The graphs depict the distribution of cases across the 20 LGAs and the trend of suspected cases. Let’s adhere strictly to personal and environmental hygiene.

“The Emergency Operations Center, in collaboration with all relevant partners, is actively engaged in contact tracing, community-based surveillance, awareness campaigns, sample testing, and ensuring that confirmed cholera cases receive appropriate medical treatment.”


Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Government on Health, Dr Kemi Ogunyemi disclosed that the outbreak was traced to unregistered tiger Nut drink.

Speaking during an interview with Punch, she said that most of the patients who came for treatment said they took a particular tigernut drink in Eti-Osa local government area.

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She said; “When there’s an outbreak like this, we have Environmental Health Services officials from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment who go around ensuring that the environment is kept clean.

“So when we noticed an increase in cases in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos specifically, we went there to investigate. We carried out a survey and found that the common denominator, which was one of the deadly factors, was a tiger nut drink. People who came to the hospitals all identified that they had drunk tiger nut drink. We couldn’t just take their word for it, so we had to take that drink and test it to see what was in it.

“We immediately sent people out to look for those selling it so we could take a sample. 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.

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The phone number on the bottle was not reachable. From our investigations, we realised that the beverages were not registered, so the producers hadn’t gone through the processes to ensure that what they were producing was safe for the public to consume. We traced it to that.”

 

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