Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
Five persons have been killed, while 30 others were hospitalised at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja, Kogi State, following an outbreak of cholera in Lokoja, the state capital.
When contacted, the Sole Administrator of one of the local government areas in the state, Hon. Lawal Shiru, said he could not confirm the casualty figure.
He, however, told jour-nalists wednesday that the case of a child was reported to him.
According to him, the child was vomiting and defecating excessively and â€œwhen such things happen, people naturally say that it is cholera.â€
He noted that when he called the mother of the child, he was told that the child was diagnosed of diarrhea.
The chairman added that he just learnt that some cases were reported at Kabawa and Hangwan Masara.
He disclosed that he was on his way to the places to confirm the veracity of the report.
But to check the epidemic from spreading to other places, the sole administrator said he had ordered the health officers at the local government to go round and fumigate the areas and also chlorinate their wells.
However, a medical doctor at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja told journalists that at least five people died as a result of the disease.
He said the signs and symptoms, which included vomiting, diarrhea, leg cramps, shock, and renal failure should be taken care of so that it would not lead to death.
â€œThere is only one death and when we asked about the nature of the disease, they said it was severe vomiting and stooling. But since there is no postmortem test, we cannot really know whether it was cholera that caused the death,â€ he said.
â€œWhat we are doing as a first step is to put every machinery in motion to control the spread and I have directed the Medical Director of the local government area to do all he can with his officers to ensure that the disease is brought under control,â€ he added.
Effort to speak with the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, on the situation proved abortive as his phone was switched off.