Palaces For The People
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Gastro, diarrhoea raise their ugly heads

Monday, September 15, 2003, Bhubaneswar , Flood News
Gastro, diarrhoea raise their ugly heads

With no let up in floods in the State as yet, reports of water-borne diseases –– gastroenteritis and diarrhoea are pouring in. In the past two days, about 401 cases of diarrhoea were reported from six of the seven affected districts. Although three diarrhoea deaths were reported in Kalahandi district between August 27 and 31, the Health Department denied the cases and said the deaths are ‘not diarrhoea-related.’ Department sources said Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Puri, Nayagarh and Khurda reported diarrhoea cases, while reports from Kendrapara are awaited. Non-availability of safe drinking water in the submerged areas and consumption of sub-standard food in the absence of relief have led to a steady rise in diarrhoea cases. Health Department sources said since most of the dug wells and bore wells, located in the affected areas, continue to be under flood water, potable water has become scarce. The medical teams deputed to these areas are finding it difficult to disinfect the wells. ‘‘Use of halazone tables to purify the water have also proved ineffective in the affected districts as the impure water content is too high’’, said a medical team member. Major purification work can begin once the water recedes, Department sources added. Contacted by this website's newspaper, Director, Health Services, Dr.P.K. Senapati, said though diarrhoea cases have been reported from different places, the situation is not alarming and cannot be termed as ‘outbreak’ as of now. Medical teams are being sent to the affected areas to control the situation, he said. So far 18 medical teams, each comprising four members, have been sent to the affected districts. Besides, 34 in-service post-graduate doctors and 11 assistant surgeons have also been pressed into service. Most of these teams have been sent to undivided Puri and Cuttack districts while 14 para-medical teams have been deployed by the department. Senapati said if needed, the Department will engage more teams. Besides diarrhoea, 10 snake-bite cases were also reported. One person has died of snake-bite in Cuttack district, but it is yet to be officially recorded

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