LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — U.N. officials say Nigeria has seen more than 1,500 deaths from cholera this year, doubling the government's most recent fatality count.
Geneva–based UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado (News - Alert) said Monday that as of Oct. 20, there were 1,555 deaths in Nigeria from the waterborne disease, with 38,173 cases recorded this year alone.
According to the World Health Organization, the current outbreak is the worst in Nigeria since 1991, when 7,654 people died.
Cholera is easily preventable with clean water and sanitation but in places like West Africa, sanitation often remains an afterthought in teeming city slums and mud–walled villages.
Neighboring nations also have recorded numerous cases of cholera this year.