The UN and WHO have reported Nigeria’s worst Cholera outbreak in recent times. The epidemic has claimed over one thousand five hundred lives in the country.

During this month Niger and Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria have also witnessed over forty thousand cases of the epidemic. The death toll is a little over two thousand and rising. About a hundred cases have surfaced in Pakistan due to the floods.

Unhealthy and unhygienic conditions due to faeces are the causal factors of the disease. Contaminated water and food are the prime sources of cholera.

Poor sanitary conditions and sewage disposal systems aggravate cases of cholera. In epidemic situations, infections spread rapidly due to the presence of human excreta. Natural disasters like tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and typhoons damage the sewage system and contaminate other water bodies.

Algae blooms act as a catalyst of the chronic disease. Ideally cholera is not contagious, but spreads from an infected person sharing common space with group of people. In Haiti, officials are yet to identify the cause.

"(We) won't know until molecular analysis is done," says Dr. Jon Andrus, deputy director of PAHO. "That is an interesting question we may never have the answer to." (We're) trying our best to determine it, but we don't have a definite answer."

WHO findings indicate a twenty four percent rise in cases of cholera. Asia and Africa show a continual trend in the rise of the epidemic due to various other new factors like population and recurrence of the disease. Data obtained indicates that these new causal factors aggravate cases of cholera, resulting in high fatality rates.

Healthy lifestyle and hygienic conditions help in controlling such diseases. “Something as simple as washing your hands can make a difference”, explains Andrus, "It sounds so easy, but it really can help."