It was gathered that the bodies of the deceased, who were four men and three women, were discovered by the bewildered residents of the market early Friday morning.
The chairman of the Livestock’s Market, Alhaji Danladi Abubarkar, who confirmed the incident to newsmen, said that residents of the market woke up to discover the dead bodies.
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He said that all the affected persons which included tricycle riders, artisans and others from different households were stooling and vomiting.
“We have already taken the bodies to the cemetery to bury the Muslims among them while the Christians have deposited their relations in a morgue,” he said.
Abubakar also disclosed that officials of the Enugu State Ministry of Health had already visited the market to investigate the cause of the deaths.
Residents of the area expressed fears that the situation could be a possible outbreak of epidemic in the area.
They expressed confidence in the ability of the state government to rise to the occasion and save the people in the area.
The Enugu State Ministry of Health has confirmed that the cause of death is a Cholera outbreak.
Confirming the Cholera outbreak in the market, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi, disclosed that the Ministry’s rapid response team, upon receiving reports of the incident carried out an immediate investigation and “it was observed that the patients presented with sudden onset of passage of loose stool and vomiting.”
He added that “the ill persons identified within the area were immediately and safely evacuated to the state teaching hospital and are receiving treatment, while health education on safe and hygienic practices were given to the inhabitants of the market.”
According to the Health Commissioner, “further tests carried out by the State Ministry of Health at the Teaching Hospital revealed that all the persons were suffering from Cholera.
“Samples were collected for further confirmatory tests of this finding.
“Surveillance, contact tracing and risk assessment have commenced at the market and its environs, while the Enugu State Ministry of Health Emergency Operations Centre for Cholera outbreak response will be activated today.”
Dr. Obi, who on behalf of the Enugu State Government, prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased and commiserated with those who lost their loved ones, enjoined “the general public to keep safe as the situation is under control and the Enugu State Ministry of Health will keep the public informed on future developments.”
He explained that “Cholera is an infection caused by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Risk factors are from poor sanitation, and contaminated drinking water.
“The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days. Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur. Symptoms range from none, to mild, to severe.
“Diarrhea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and even death. Symptoms start two hours to five days after exposure.
“It is prevented by improvements in sanitation, use of clean water, hand washing and vaccines. Treatment involves replacement of lost body fluids orally or intravenously, zinc supplementation and antibiotics.”
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