The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Enteric after pond overflow

Singur (Hooghly), Oct. 9: The top medical officer of the district today rushed to the Singur rural hospital after reports of an outbreak of enteric diseases.

District health officials said about 50 people, mostly from Chowkhondipota village and adjoining areas, have been admitted to the hospital here, about 65 km from Calcutta, with complaints of acute diarrhoea, stomach cramps and other enteric problems.

At least 300 people had reported sick at the outdoor department with similar symptoms. Most of them were discharged after administering medicines and oral salt solutions. Those in a severe dehydrated state were admitted and are being administered saline and fructose drips.

Hospital sources said the villagers started falling ill during the Durga Puja. They said a team from the district health department visited the village last Tuesday and collected samples from the pond which were sent for laboratory tests.

Chief medical officer of health (Hooghly) Abdul Hannan Mollah, who examined the condition of the patients today, said: “According to preliminary findings, the disease spread after the villagers drank the water of a pond even after it overflowed and came in contact with sewage from a canal. The others have been asked not to use the water and we have posted guards near the pond.”

He added that they are probing the possibility of other sources of contamination like fertilisers and pesticides.

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