16 cholera cases confirmed in Hyderabad

May 9th, 2009 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, May 9 (IANS) Even before the Andhra Pradesh capital could recover from the drinking water contamination, which left nine people dead and over 500 ill, an outbreak of cholera has come as another rude shock to the residents.
Doctors Saturday confirmed as many as 16 cases of cholera, a majority of them from Bholakpur neighbourhood where contaminated waters claimed nine lives since Tuesday. Hundreds of people are still undergoing treatment in various government-run and private hospitals.

Samples of 12 patients admitted to the government-run Fever Hospital tested positive for cholera, while Gandhi Hospital reported four cholera cases, doctors said.

Shaken by the findings, the health authorities have summoned experts from the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata. Soon after their arrival, a team of experts from the institute visited Bholakpur and gathered samples.

Principal secretary, Health, L.V. Subrahmanyam denied that cholera had claimed any life. He said he would submit a detailed report on cholera cases to the government Sunday.

Noting some of the patients whose samples were tested positive for cholera had already been discharged from the hospitals, he said authorities were making frantic efforts to trace the patients.

Doctors suspect that some of the Bholakpur victims could have died of cholera. The victims rapidly lost body fluids and the deaths occurred within 72 hours.

The faecal matter of the patients from the area has tested positive for presence of vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes cholera.

The Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) has already confirmed that the drinking water supplied in Bholakpur and surrounding areas was contaminated with sewer water. The institute’s analysts found E.Coli, a bacteria found in human faeces, in water samples collected from the areas.

The IPM also found that the water supplied in some other residential areas was also not fit for human consumption.

The outbreak of cholera sent the alarm bells ringing in the administration. Several teams from Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) fanned out in Bholakpur and surrounding areas, sealing the hotels found to be operating under unhygienic conditions.

The officials also began raids on tanneries, which are also blamed for water contamination in the area.

Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) has stopped piped water supply in the affected areas and is instead supplying it by tankers.

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