Nigeria: Cholera epidemic death toll rises to 352

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 25, 2010 23:08

 
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ABUJA, Nigeria – All of Nigeria is at risk in a cholera epidemic that has killed 352 people in only three-months time, health officials warned Wednesday, as the country's rainy season continues to spread the water-born infection.

The nation's Health Ministry issued a statement saying Nigeria has had more than 6,400 cases of the disease since June. Doctors now have detected it in 12 of Nigeria's 36 states.

"Epidemiological evidence indicates that the entire country is at risk," the statement read.

The health ministry blamed the recent outbreak on heavy seasonal rains spreading the infection across rural communities without access to proper toilet facilities. In many areas, wells remain uncovered, allowing tainted water to flow into the communities' drinking water supplies.

Cholera is a fast-moving infection that causes diarrhea in victims, leading to severe dehydration and possible death. The infection is highly contagious yet easily preventable with clean water and sanitation.

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