No fewer than 20 people have died in a cholera outbreak in Ebonyi state, the state Director, Public Health and Disease Control, in the Ministry of Health, Dr Chris Achi revealed.

Speaking to newsmen in the Ebonyi state capital, Abakaliki, Dr Achi said 7 local government areas namely Ohaukwu, Izzi, Ezza North, Ishielu, Ebonyi, Abakaliki and Ohaozara have recorded the highest number of cases.

He further said one student of the Ebonyi State University has died from the epidemic while 9 others are in the hospital after contracting the disease.

Dr Achi who revealed that the outbreak of the disease was largely due to the villagers in the communities fetching and using water from a dirty pond further said 15 students of the Girls High School, Azuinyiokwu were also affected by the disease and were rushed to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, where they were treated and discharged.

According to him:

"Some of the community members have boreholes and when some of the boreholes breakdown, the people, rather than repair it, resort to pond water. Hawkers will display Suya along the road and flies perch on them and people patronize them without considering the health implication. In Abakaliki, most houses do not have toilet facilities and people defecate around the houses. This leads to disease outbreak because the same flies that perch on the faeces also perch on foods”.

He also attributed the death of some students to self-medication and urged the citizens to assist the State government by reporting such cases rather than resorting to self-medication.