From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Fears have gripped the people of Kogi state as a result of the reported cases of the outbreak of cholera disease in parts of Lokoja, the state capital, which has led to the death of at least three persons.
Also, some persons were said to be on admission in the state specialist hospital, Lokoja and a private hospital in the state capital over new cases of the disease.
The outbreak, which was first noticed on Wednesday with the affected people in the native Kabawa area of the town showing symptoms of cholera, was said to have continued till Thursday.
The people, according to sources in the community, had shown signs of diarrhoea and vomiting, which are major symptoms of cholera.
Already 17 people suspected to have contracted the disease have been placed on the watch list.
Confirming the development, the state commissioner for health, Dr Saka Haruna, said three people had been confirmed dead because of the cholera outbreak.
He added that out of 17 suspected cases, nine were male, eight were female and mostly adult.
The commissioner, who spoke through the permanent secretary in the ministry, Pastor Kolawole Johnson, said six persons were currently on admission with three in Kogi state specialist hospital and three persons are in Ali Omeiza hospital.
Pastor Kolawole Johnson disclosed that Haruna had earlier directed the Rapid Surveillance and Response Team of the State Ministry of Health to investigate and respond appropriately.
He, however, advised the public to take pre-emptive measures on personal and environmental hygiene by properly washing their hands and adequate water treatment before drinking.
The commissioner frowned at people drinking water directly from the well, urging them to drink water from the public water supplied by the government which has been adequately treated.
He said the ministry’s Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers (DSNOs) across the 21 local government areas of the state had been placed on alert and advised members of the public to immediately report any case of diarrhoea to the nearest health centre for proper diagnosis and treatment.