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Nearly 100 people killed by cholera in the north-east

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A cholera epidemic has killed nearly 100 people over the last two weeks in northeastern Nigeria, a region devastated by the jihadist group Boko Haram, the United Nations said Saturday.

“3,126 cases have been identified in the Yobe and Borno states,” said a statement from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Abuja, saying the epidemic had “killed 97 people” in these two states.

The epidemic was declared two weeks ago in Borno, epicenter of violence and where hundreds of thousands of people live in IDP camps, and has now spread to the neighboring state of Yobe, “where 989 cases have been identified as of 20 September “.

Earlier this week, the UN announced that the disease had killed more than 500 people in the entire Lake Chad Basin (Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger), and that 27,000 people have contracted cholera in recent weeks.

The rainy season is conducive to the spread of the epidemic, which resurfaces every year at about the same time, in IDP camps where sanitary conditions are very deteriorated.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water. It is easy to treat by rehydration in particular, but can kill in a few hours for lack of treatment.

The Boko Haram insurgency and its repression by the army have killed more than 34,000 people since 2009 and some 1.8 million people are still unable to return to their homes.

According to NGOs, 11 million Nigerians are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

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