Disease Outbreak Looms As Floods Spread

Scientists have predicted an increase in cases of water and mosquito-borne diseases. The forecast followed flooding in several communities across the country and the consequent contamination of water sources.

With the likelihood of more rains, amid a cholera outbreak that has already claimed 517 lives, they expressed concern that things could get worse.

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had issued warnings of flooding, which may affect 13 states, especially around the Rivers Niger and Benue.

Already, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all Federal Government agencies “to use their authority and resources to assist victims affected by the natural disaster.”

A statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, last night, said the new directive was conveyed through the director general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja.

According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) flooding and communicable diseases fact sheet, floods can also potentially increase the transmission of typhoid fever, leptospirosis, hepatitis A, dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever and West Nile fever.

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