The Sokoto State Commissioner for Health, Dr Ali Inname, says 23 people have so far died, while 265 got infected with gastroenteritis across 13 local government areas.
He made the confirmation at a news conference in Sokoto on Tuesday, and appealed to residents to restrict visitations to prone areas.
He said that affected local government areas were – Rabah, Wurno, Dange Shuni, Kebbe, Gwadabawa, Tangaza, Isa, Bodinga, Wamakko, Silame, Illela, Sabon Birni and Yabo, noting that Gwadawaba was worst hit.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that gastroenteritis, also known as stomach flu, is intestinal infection marked by diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.
It is typically spread by contact with an infected person or through contaminated food or water.
The commissioner, therefore, said “it is important for the public to know that the disease is highly contagious, meaning it can be easily transmitted from person to person through casual contacts.
“Others are drinking contaminated foods or water, contaminated cloths, surfaces, beds, bed sheets, vomit and faeces.”
The commissioner noted that investigation revealed that the disease escalated because of the rainy season and sources of drinking water comprising open wells and others had been contaminated.
According to him, open defecation and other poor sanitary challenges have also contributed.
He said that two teams were established on case management comprising medical doctors that would go round for spot assessment and treatment in affected areas.
He added that a team of environmental health officers had also been raised to go round for sensitisation on preventive measures toward containing the situation.
He further said that a Rapid Response Team was reactivated across the state, while drugs and consumables’ provisions were repositioned.
The commissioner advised people to boil their drinking water, cover open wells against flooding of rain water, report any case to nearby health centre and avoid home treatments.