Death toll from a cholera outbreak in Nigeria’s northeast has risen to 71, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) official.
Collins Owili, a representative of the WHO, said that 71 people were killed due to a cholera outbreak in five localities of Yobe state.
Owili said a total of 759 cholera cases have been detected in the region over the past two months and the Nigerian government is giving free treatment to combat the epidemic.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholera which people get from drinking water or eating food contaminated with the bacterium.
Its symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting and the disease takes effect 6 to 48 hours after the bacterium enters the body.
Some parts of Nigeria are frequently affected by the epidemic due to limited access to clean drinking water.
The region is also hit by Boko Haram insurgency, which makes displaced persons’ camps a center for the disease.