Twenty three people have been confirmed dead as gastroenteritis also known as stomach flu ravaged 13 local government areas of Sokoto State.
Gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection marked by diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and sometimes fever.
The most common way to contract gastroenteritis is through contact with an infected person or by ingesting contaminated food or water.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Ali Inname, said 265 people, mostly rural residents, were so far affected.
Briefing newsmen on the outbreak of gastroenteritis yesterday in the state, Dr Inname said the disease resurfaced in the state due to the contamination of drinking water in the local government areas.
He blamed the spread of the disease on visitation of patients by relatives.
He said, “There are many factors leading to the resurfacing of the disease; one of which is the contamination of their main source of drinking water.
“Most of the people living in the rural areas openly defecate, and now we are in the rainy period. That is why their main sources of water became contaminated and the bacteria resurfaced in those areas.
“Another factor is visitation by relatives of the affected patients. This helps in spreading the disease to neighbouring villages.
“So far, we have recorded 23 deaths and 265 people are so far affected.”
He noted that teams of medical personnel and environmental health workers had been mobilised to the affected areas to treat patients and counsel residents on the need to restrict visitation and effectively take care of sources of their drinking water, among other preventive measures, while also cautioning the health workers against treating patients at home.
The affected LGAs are Rabah, Wurno, Dange Shuni, Kebbe, Gwadabawa, Tangaza and Isa.
Others are Bodinga, Wamakko, Silame, Illela, Sabon Birni and Yabo.