ABUJA, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Sixty-one people have been confirmed in cholera-related deaths and 50 others hospitalized in Nigeria's northeastern state of Yobe, the government said on Friday.
A total of 906 fresh cases of cholera have been recorded in the past two months, according to government data.
The government of Yobe declared an outbreak of cholera on Friday, saying six local areas have been so far affected by the water-borne disease.
Cholera is a highly virulent disease characterized in its most severe form by a sudden onset of acute watery diarrhea that can lead to death by severe dehydration.
In a statement, the state commissioner for health Muhammad Kawuwa said cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) were initially reported in some parts of the state and later confirmed to be cholera after laboratory tests.
"Some of the AWD cases were caused by Vibrio bacteria which causes cholera," Kawuwa said.
According to him, the absence of sanitation facilities in the affected local communities and flooding of water sources by recent heavy rains are likely causes of the outbreak.
The official said over 795 patients were successfully treated and discharged in the past two months.
The World Health Organization, Nigeria Center for Disease Control and other local health bodies are working to authenticate the cause of the outbreak and scale up response, he added.
Cholera outbreak is common in Nigeria due to poor water supply systems, especially in densely populated areas.
More than 16,353 cholera-related cases have been recorded so far in Nigeria since the beginning of the year, according to data by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control.