An cholera outbreak of cholera in Sokoto State, north-west Nigeria, has killed at least 16 people while 40 others have been hospitalised across the state, a health official said.

An official of the state Ministry of Health, Dr. Bello Dahiru, who has been managing patients at the Primary Health Centre in Kasarawa, a suburb outside the state capital, said the number of casualties arising from the cholera outbreak was recorded within the last three days.

The cholera outbreak which is affecting mostly children, has left residents of the state in panic, and it is not clear what the state government is doing to halt the epidemic.

Cholera is known to be an acute diarrhea infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium vibrio cholera and an extremely contagious disease which affects both children and adults and can kill within hours.