Durgapur, May 6: The 85 National Institute of Technology students who took ill last week were afflicted with hepatitis A and E.
Tests have also confirmed that water at the institute’s hostel, kitchen and canteen was contaminated.
With disease lurking, the first convocation of the deemed university ' a status received in 2003 ' was held today. Over 2,200 students, who had fled hostel after many reported sick, were not present at the ceremony in which governor Gopal Gandhi presented medals to 13 pass-outs.
Superintendent of the Durgapur Subdivisional Hospital M.K. Nandy said: 'We found hepatitis A and E in the blood samples tested at the laboratory of the chief medical officer of Burdwan and the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Calcutta. Both are water-borne diseases and caused by contaminated drinking water and cut fruits. The water samples contained coliform bacteria that cause stomach ailments and enteric diseases.'
The guests and the former students were served packaged drinking water today.
The jaundice outbreak had forced the NIT authorities to suspend classes till July 1 and defer examinations. 'It is unfortunate that they missed the programme, but what can we do' It could not be deferred. We’d already received the governor’s confirmation,' said director A.C. Ganguly.
The authorities have taken up a project to improve the water supply system. 'Pipes will be replaced and a sophisticated filtration system installed.'