Friday, February 8, 2008 Water borne disease erupts in Bangalore Water borne disease erupts in Bangalore: "Over 500 people, including 10 children, have taken ill due to suspected water contamination in Bharati Nagar area of the city.

While 30 of them have been diagnosed with gastroenteritis and have been admitted to private nursing homes, the others are being treated as out patients, sources in the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) said.

The dreaded summer ailment - gastroenteritis - has surfaced in. Test results are still awaited on water samples, but it would appear that sewage is mingling with drinking water, affecting the health of hundreds of people.

Twenty-year old Fouzia who fell sick was admitted to the Bharathinagar corporation hospital. She was not alone; hundreds of people living in the same area have flooded government and private hospitals.

We did not drink the water from the tankers, but drank other water, and then the diarrhea started. It began last night and it continues. In the street behind, my full family - all are sick,'' said Fouzia, patient.

''If there are so many cases happening, it should be because of water. It should be water borne, otherwise how can we explain so many patients having loose stools at the same time,'' said Dr B J Vedavathi, Assistant Surgeon, Thimmaiah Road Corporation, Maternity Home.

The hospital register makes it clear that the main problem is loose motion and vomiting, but authorities do seem to say the situation is not as serious as it appears.

''Not only gastroenteritis cases, they are just outpatients with cough and fever,'' said Dr L T Gayathri, Chief Health Officer, BBMP.

Residents of the area say they know it is contaminated water that is responsible.

''Till today, half of Bharathi Nagar is getting contaminated water only. Because the existing pipes are nearly 40 years old, some of the pipelines come under the manholes. If manhole overflows contamination happens,'' said M Pari, Former Corporator.

Authorities have finally stopped the supply of water to that area and tankers are now supplying water, and the inflow of cases seems to be slowing down.

It's a little early in the year for water borne diseases, usually a dreaded feature of summer. But the hundreds of cases that are coming in, would seem to indicate contaminated water.

That water supply has now been cut, but the main issue remains the vital need for clean drinking water. (With PTI inputs)"

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