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Don't use carbonated drink, seasoning for cholera treatment - Expert warns

The public health expert emphasised that cholera could be easily treated through prompt administration of ORS or preparing the salt and sugar solution to help individuals.

Don't use carbonated drink, seasoning for cholera treatment - Expert warns

Olugbogi, former Head of NMA Lagos COVID-19 response and Medical Officer of Health at Ifelodun LCDA, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

He gave the warning in response to several social media posts touting the use of Coca-Cola and Maggi combination as a prevention and treatment for cholera.

Olugbogi said the mixture was not a medical solution, noting that toxicology tests from the combination might be harmful to the health and well-being of individuals.

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“That combination I believe is more expensive than using Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). Why would anybody want to substitute ORS for Maggi and Coca-Cola?

“That’s alarming. ORS is a solution that’s tested, proven and trusted to treat cholera diarrhoea or gastroenteritis disease.

“If somebody has hypoglycemia (low sugar), of course, the individual can be given Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Sprite, Miranda or Fanta or any of those carbonated drinks but in measured doses.

“Combining Coca-Cola with Maggi for cholera treatment is not a medical solution,” he said.

The public health expert emphasised that cholera could be easily treated through prompt administration of ORS or preparing the salt and sugar solution to help individuals.

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He recalled that during the COVID-19 and Ebola outbreaks, some people promoted using salt water to bathe as a cure for the diseases, stressing that it was a hoax that caused complications and death to some individuals.

Olugbogi cautioned the public against practising things seen online, stressing that health advisories from physicians and health regulators should be strictly adhered to, to ensure health safety.

On preventive measures against cholera, Olugbogi advised that people wash their hands with soap and running water, before and after eating, and after using the toilet.

“Washing our hands with soap and water alone is a huge step in controlling and preventing this viral outbreak.

“Apart from that, people should ensure they keep their waste safely in containers away from flies because flies pick up germs and bacteria from the waste or faecal matter and drop them when they perch on food items.

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“We should also dispose of refuse properly, maintaining good hygienic practices is critical to reduce transmission of cholera,” he said.

He advised that vegetables and fruits should be washed thoroughly before consuming them and water boiled before drinking.

Olugbogi advised the proper washing of utensils such as spoons, cups, plates, glass cups, and mugs, before eating with them.

“Cholera is transmitted from contaminated hand to mouth; so, if we can clean our hands, utensils and any item containing things that we put in our mouth, then we can prevent cholera from spreading,” he said.

Data from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) show that Nigeria recorded no fewer than 1,141 suspected and 65 confirmed cases of cholera, resulting in over 30 deaths from Jan. 1 to June 11, 2024, in 30 states, NAN reports.

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Lagos State on June 11, alerted residents that the state had recorded an excess report of severe gastroenteritis cases leading to 60 hospitalisations and five deaths mainly from patients presenting late with extreme dehydration.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on June 15, disclosed that laboratory tests confirmed that the outbreak was due to cholera with the identified strain being highly aggressive and contagious, with potential for widespread transmission.

As of June 20, the Lagos cholera outbreak had increased to 21 fatalities and 401 infections from multiple LGAs in the state.

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