The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Enteric scare in Cooch Behar
- District on alert as 6 persons die in 7 days & 200 end up in hospital

Cooch Behar, Oct. 12: Six persons have died of enteric diseases across the district in the past one week.

While more than 3,000 people have reportedly been affected in the district, around 200 people are under treatment in different hospitals.

Deputy chief medical officer of health, Cooch Behar, Amitabha Barman said medical teams have been sent to the affected areas. He said the disease might have been contracted after consuming fish caught from drains full of stagnant rain water.

According to health department sources, Fazlul Mian, 60, of Haripur village in the Madhupur gram panchayat area, 10km from here, died of the disease this morning.

Mortaza Hossain, 42, Hafiz Uddin Mian, 48, and Noor Jamal Islam, 41, died at the MJN Hospital on Wednesday. All three were from Baromaricha village in the Sitalkuchi police station area.

The trio were part of a group of wandering preachers of Islam. They used to spend the nights in mosques and visit villages during the day. All three of them were admitted to the hospital on Wednesday itself.

The two other persons who have died are Uttam Barman, 9, and Sadhana Barman, 19, of Daribas and Bhoram Payasti villages in Dinhata.

The sources said the villagers have been asked not to drink unfiltered water. They have also been asked to collect ORS packets from the local health centres. Besides, the medical teams will go from door to door, the sources added.

With the spread of the disease, panic has gripped the district and all government hospitals and clinics have been alerted. The disease has reportedly spread to Cooch Behar, Dinhata and Mathabhanga subdivisions.

Physicians attending to the patients said most of the enteric diseases were from bacterial and viral infections and had resulted from food-poisoning.

“We have been telling the people to wash hands thoroughly before eating and to drink boiled water kept in covered vessels,” said Ujjwal Acharya, a physician attached to the Dinhata subdivisional hospital. He said people should not eat stale food either.

No fresh cases of gastroenteritis were, however, reported from Sylee Tea Estate in the Malbazar subdivision of Jalpaiguri district. Five people had died there of enteric diseases in the last seven days.

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