Friday, February 8, 2008

The Hindu : Front Page : Two gastro patients test positive for cholera in Bharathinagar

The Hindu : Front Page : Two gastro patients test positive for cholera in Bharathinagar: "The number of gastroenteritis cases in Bharathinagar area is coming down with 81 fresh cases reported from the area on Friday as against 528 cases on January 28, when there was an outbreak of the disease following contamination of drinking water.

Meanwhile, two of the six persons suffering from gastroenteritis tested positive for cholera and have been admitted to St. Philomena’s Hospital. The Epidemic Diseases (ED) Hospital treated 24 persons — 17 as inpatients — for gastroenteritis on Friday.

Although no new case of cholera was detected in ED Hospital since last three says, results of over 80 stool samples sent for laboratory tests are awaited.

According to the BBMP, 1,502 persons (896 adults and 606 children) have been treated for gastroenteritis at its hospital on Thimmaiah Road since January 28.
The BBMP has been distributing Halozone tablets (used for water purification) free of cost to Bharathinagar residents although the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has said that drinking water supplied to the area is clean.

The BBMP officials said that use of Halozone tablets would ensure that the water was free from bacteria even if there were remnants of contamination in the utensils used for storing water. The water could be used 15 minutes after dissolving the tablet in it, they said.

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party activists staged a demonstration in front of BWSSB office on Friday demanding replacement of old leaky sewer lines in Bharathinagar area.
‘Work as a team’

The advisers to the Governor have directed the heads of civic agencies in Bangalore to work as a team to contain the spread of gastroenteritis, according to officers who attended a meeting on Thursday.

The directive was issued apparently because of lack of coordination among various agencies in sharing information and taking corrective steps, the officials told The Hindu.

The advisers – S. Krishna Kumar and P.P. Prabhu – asked heads of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board and Health and Family Welfare officials to coordinate in tackling the crisis.
Appalling conditions

The outbreak of gastroenteritis has brought into focus the appalling living conditions in Thimmiah Road, Seppings Road, Bharatinagar, and Nehrupuram as each family has at least one member down with gastroenteritis.

At No. 120 on Thimmiah Road, 55 people stay in a cluster of one-room houses. Of these, 20 are down with gastroenteritis. Among them are a six-month-old baby and five elderly people. The sewerage intersects the drinking water line connected to this cluster.

Bernarde living in thesame area said the stormwater drain by the side of the road was blocked and the drainage pipe had cracked. The leaking wastewater sometimes flowed through the cluster and submerged the drinking water line. This was a common feature in the area, she said.

A Vinod Kumar, a long-time resident of the area, the water lines were laid 50 years ago.

On Seppings Road, the people were queuing up at a roadside as they did not get water for the last four days. Since the outbreak of gastroenteritis the BBMP has made arrangements for supply of drinking water through tankers. The medical and social workers have advised the residents not to drink water supplied through taps in the affected areas."

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