Meningitis strikes Commonwealth Games Village

March 4th, 2008 - 5:14 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Young construction workers are falling unconscious and talking abnormally as their unhygienic and cramped living conditions have led to an outbreak of deadly meningitis at the Commonwealth Games Village site on the banks of the polluted Yamuna river in the national capital. The upcoming complex will house nearly 8,500 athletes and officials from across the world during the Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010.

“We received all the cases within the last 20 to 25 days. The situation is serious because all the nine construction workers from the games village were diagnosed with meningitis,” said V.R. Sood, medical superintendent of Bimla Devi Hospital in east Delhi.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord. Bacteria or viruses usually cause it.

“All the patients who came to us were either unconscious or not talking normally. All them were very young - less than 30 years old,” Sood told IANS.

Most of the construction workers are from Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

Sood said bacteria and viruses that cause meningitis are fairly common and are generally associated with other routine illnesses like fever and ear infections.

“It starts with fever, headache, body pain and finally affects the brain. When it affects the brain, the condition is termed serious. We found all our patients are serious,” he said.

The doctor said that no patient has died so far.

“None of our patients have died. After treatment, they left the hospital. We have not received any other patient of meningitis in the last five years,” he said.

Nearly 25 cases of meningitis have been recorded in Delhi this year.

Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) officials said antibiotics have been distributed among all the workers at the site.

“We are constantly carrying out awareness campaigns and distributing medicines,” MCD spokesman Deep Mathur said.

Spread over 118 acres, the $40 million games village will comprise low and medium rise apartment blocks. The village will also have air-conditioned auditoriums, health centres, media centres and banking facilities.

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