A cholera outbreak continues to spread in Niger's Maradi region, with at least 1489 cases and 26 deaths as of August 15, according to the Niger Ministry of Public Health. The total cases nearly doubled in just two weeks, with 750 new cases and 15 deaths reported from August 3. The most affected areas are the town of Maradi and the Madarounfa department to its south.
The current outbreak began on July 5, 2018. Cholera, an infectious disease caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium is typically spread via infected water supplies and induces acute diarrhea leading to severe dehydration, frequently resulting in death. The risk of death is greatest among people with compromised immune systems, such as malnourished children or those living with HIV. However, even among healthy adults, cholera can be fatal within a matter of hours.
To reduce the risk of contracting cholera, wash hands regularly, drink only bottled or purified water, and avoid eating raw or undercooked foods. Individuals who believe they may have contracted cholera should seek immediate medical attention.