Cholera outbreak in five villages

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  • Published 12.05.11

Guwahati, May 11: An outbreak of cholera has been reported from five villages under Gohpur subdivision in Sonitpur district of Assam with 245 people detected with the disease.

The serious patients are being treated at Gohpur civil hospital but no death has been reported so far.

The villages where the outbreak has been recorded are Ek Knong Sakala, Dui Knong Sakala, Ek Knong Hakura, Rajabari and Aunibari. These villages are mostly Mising-inhabited.

Health officials had initially suspected the villagers to be suffering from diarrhoea. But medical tests of five patients at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital here on May 4 confirmed it to be cholera.

Health officials are claiming that the situation has been brought under control.

“Once we came to know of the outbreak, our health workers collected samples and sent it for medical investigation to Guwahati. We started treatment of patients immediately. Most of the affected people are suffering from dehydration. While those requiring hospitalisation have been admitted to Gohpur civil hospital. Our doctors are treating the minor cases in the villages itself. We are trying to contain the spread of cholera and no new case was reported yesterday,” the joint-director of Sonitpur health services, Bharati Baruah, said.

Health officials suspect contaminated water of the stream that flows by the five affected villages to be the prime cause of the outbreak.

Although the state PHE department has provided water to these villages, several families continue to use the contaminated water of the stream for drinking and washing. Many households in these villages also have hand pumps and use the underground water without filtering it.

“Despite our health workers repeatedly advising the villagers to consume only filtered water, many of them still use underground water without filtering it. People also use water from the stream for washing and bathing purposes and there is every possibility of their being infected by the cholera germ through this water,” Baruah said.

The district health service has already sent two medical teams, comprising doctors, paramedics and other health workers, to the affected villages.

“Our health workers are making door-to-door visits in these villages to detect cases of cholera. We have distributed 25,000 halogen tablets for water purification among the villagers and are making them aware of the preventive measures they need to take to avoid incurring the disease,” Baruah added.