The cholera epidemic that hit refugee camps in north-east Nigeria is not abating.

So far, the disease has killed 40 people, up from the 23 lives it claimed last week when the outbreak was first reported.

About 3 persons die per day.

According to UN, efforts to contain the cholera outbreak is suffering a setback.

This is because all those who are affected by the disease for the first time do not report it on time.

A United Nations official said, as a result, more people that would have been saved are dying even as the number of suspected cholera cases had jumped to 1,626 as of September 11.

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Most of the cholera-related deaths have been recorded at the Muna Garage camp, on the outskirts of Borno State capital, Maiduguri.

Speaking from the camp, Souleymane Sow - a United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) coordinator - said the “main problem” in containing the outbreak was a lack of referrals.

“When the people are sick they don’t proactively report to the clinics,” he said, adding that aid workers were conducting visits to homes in the camps to bring sick people to a treatment centre.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection spread by contaminated food and water. It can be easily treated with oral rehydration solution if caught early but can kill within hours if left untreated.

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