Friday, 25 October 2013

Lagos identifies, investigates suspected sources of cholera

An unnamed female food vendor of African salad, otherwise known as Abacha at Cele Bus-stop junction, suspected to have been the primary source of contamination of the reported cholera cases in Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area of Lagos, has been identified and is being investigated.

A source in the office of the Lagos State Epidemiology Unit and Disease Control, who preferred anonymity, confirmed that samples of suspected food preparations believed to have been consumed by most of the victims who came down with symptoms of cholera infection in the area, have been obtained for laboratory analysis.

It was gathered that laboratory samples have also been obtained from the vendor for analysis at the State Quality Control Laboratory, Ikeja, and the results are expected to be ready in few days.

“What I can tell you is that of all the cases so far identified, the greater percentage, about 70 per cent of those involved, consumed African salad sold by a food vendor at Cele junction.

Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area officials are already making efforts to educate the vendor on the proper and hygienic way of food preparation,” the source stated.

The vendor, who is believed to be an agent of contamination, may not be infected. “She may exhibit no visible symptoms and yet be spreading the disease to others. So it is better to get samples from her, the food items, the water and other samples and send them to the lab.

“If she is infected, she will be treated by the operation’s environmental unit,” the source affirmed.

On the suspected outbreak in Amuwo Odofin and Apapa local government areas, Vanguard gathered that the source of infection has also been traced to contaminated well water.

“Laboratory analyses gave isolated evidence that water in the area contained pathogens such as salmonella, streptococci and other bacteria capable of causing severe diarrhoea such as that witnessed. We are looking at treating the water in the area.

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