The Nigerian government declared a cholera outbreak in the northeastern state of Borno after cases were confirmed in seven local government areas.
The rapid spread of cholera appears to be linked to months of unusually heavy rains that have caused floods there and across the country.
By October 5, 2022, the United Nations said over 5,000 cases of cholera had been recorded in Borno, including 178 deaths. Around half of the cases were in areas with increased concentrations of people displaced by conflict.
An estimated one million people are at risk of catching the intestinal disease, which causes severe vomiting and diarrhea. Commonly spread through contaminated foods and water, cholera leads to dehydration and death when left untreated.
Cholera outbreaks are common in Borno, the epicenter of an ongoing Islamist insurgency that has displaced thousands into refugee camps, straining sanitation facilities, and portable water sources for well over a decade.
Aid workers said large puddles of stagnant water in Maiduguri, a city of almost 1 million inhabitants, hastened the bacteria’s spread and made it difficult to contain the outbreak.
Nurse Augusta Chinenye Obodoefuna, the manager of the treatment center run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), said that compared to other years, this has been the biggest outbreak of cholera yet.