ABUJA, July 22 (Xinhua) -- At least 60 people have been killed by a cholera outbreak since May in Nigeria's capital, a government official said in Abuja on Thursday.
A total of 698 cases of the disease have been recorded since May, said Ramatu Aliyu, the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) while visiting some of the affected communities in Abuja.
According to Aliyu, recent days have witnessed a surge in the number of cases, with 94 new cases reported within the past 72 hours, causing the local authorities to intensify community sensitization on cholera and severe diarrhea diseases outbreak in the nation's capital.
"The administration would not fold its hands and watch residents die helplessly over preventable diseases, she said. "We must take every necessary step to curb the further spread."
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.
The outbreak of cholera in Nigeria has remained persistent, occurring annually mostly during the rainy season and more often in areas with poor sanitation, overcrowding, lack of clean food and water, and areas where open defecation is common. Enditem