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Five deaths and over 200 cases of diarrhoea reported in five days
Heat wave coupled with lack of clean drinking water has wreaked havoc in the northern part of Gujarat. Over 221 cases of diarrhoea have been reported from Dhanera town of Banaskantha district in the state in the past five days. Ten per cent of the patients are children. The disease has also caused the death of five people in the town.
“One woman who was suffering from diarrhoea collapsed and died on the way to the hospital. This is unusual in normal diarrhoea cases. We collected samples from other patients and found one positive case of cholera,” says Dinkar Raval, deputy director of epidemiology of Gujarat health department. Though no more cases of cholera have been detected so far, district magistrate of Banaskantha district, J M Vora, issued a notice on July 4, declaring the area cholera-affected as a precaution.
The water to the town is supplied from Situ dam. Recently, four leakages were spotted in the dam and the supply was stopped. The town was given water from bores which the officials suspect could be contaminated. But the test results of water samples collected from the bores tested negative for cholera germ.
Officials are trying to find the source of contaminated water reaching the town. Meanwhile, the bore water has been chlorinated and a cleanliness drive is going on in Dhanera that has a population of 26,000.
“Contaminated water and the rise in temperature in northern Gujarat could be a possible reason for the outbreak,” says Vora.