Nine more persons have been confirmed dead as a result of the cholera outbreak ravaging Ebonyi State, bringing the death toll so far to 42.

Two of the deceased died in Ozibo village, Ebonyi Local Government Area. Seven others died in four communities of Umuezeoka, Umuezeokaha, Ekka and Ori-uzor, Ezza North Local Government Area.

The state epidemiologist, Francis Onwe, confirmed the deaths on Saturday to PREMIUM TIMES. He said over 20 people have been hospitalized in Onueke, Ezza South Local Government Area.

He advised the people to improve on their personal and environmental health conditions to curb the epidemic and always rush to qualified hospitals instead of self-medication whenever

In his statement, the head of health department, Imoha Development Centre, Ezza North Local Government Area, Sunday Eze, decried the poor hygiene at the private hospital where the victims are receiving treatment.

He directed the occupants to vacate the premises within forty-eight hours to forestall further outbreak.

Chidozie Otta, son of one of the deceased, Magret Otta, called on the government to intervene on the outbreak of the epidemic by providing drugs and other relief materials.

A sensitization programme was later organized for the people of the four communities.

Addressing the residents, a doctor at the Federal Teaching Hospital in the state, John Nwaeze, advised them to take the issues of their health seriously by washing their hands regularly, drink safe water and avoid defecating in bushes around their surroundings to prevent the disease.

At the end of the event, drugs of various kinds were donated by the member representing Ezza North/Ishielu federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Anayo Nwonu.

Death toll has risen to 42 since the outbreak of cholera in the state in February. The first case was reported in Amachi community, Abakaliki Local Government Area, and Edomia, Ebonyi Local Government Area.