Cholera kills 35 in Niger

A cholera epidemic has claimed 35 lives in Niger, the health ministry of the poor Sahel nation said Thursday.

More than 800 cases have been recorded across the West African country including in the capital Niamey, it said.

The highly contagious disease is caused by bacteria transmitted by dirty water, resulting in severe diarrhoea which can lead to death.

The outbreak began in regions bordering Nigeria, where a cholera outbreak has killed more than 800 people since the start of the year.

On Monday the caseload in Niger rose to 845 and the death toll to 35—a mortality rate of 4.2 percent, according to figures released Thursday by the ministry’s epidemiology section.

State television ran images of two isolation centres that have been set up in Niamey to quarantine children and adults stricken with the disease.

Niger has announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) is to provide medicines and material worth more than 172 million CFA francs ($300,000, 260,000 euros) to help it overcome the epidemic.

Floods resulting from heavy rains in the infected areas have raised fears of a new surge in cholera.

An epidemic in 2018 claimed 78 lives, mainly in areas near Nigeria, according to the WHO.