A total 559 people in Bauchi have been hospitalized since an outbreak of cholera in February, says the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

At least 243 patients were admitted to a 70-bed cholera treatment centre the group set up at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital since February 19 in response to the outbreak.

Some 183 have been treated and discharged from the centre; three died from cholera.

MSF says it is looking to expand the treatment centre to take 100 patients at a time to cope with the increasing number of patients.

“Time is critical for reducing cholera transmission,” MSF medical coordinator Mamady Traore said in a statement. The disease causes profuse watery diarrhoea and vomiting.

“Dehydration arises very quickly and can cause death if not treated immediately and in the right way by administering fluids and oral rehydration salts,” said Traore.

“Most patients can be treated orally and only in cases of severe dehydration fluid administration is done intravenously.

“Hence it is of crucial importance for people with symptoms of cholera to seek treatment immediately. And patients can be stabilized and treated in a cholera treatment centre where strict hygiene measures prevent the disease from spreading.”

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