As many as 72 students from the BC Welfare Girls’ Hostel, Jaggampeta in East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, were hospitalised on Monday after consuming midday meals. The students suffered dehydration, diarrhoea and vomiting after eating Khichdi and egg provided in the hostel.
Soon, the hostel authorities informed police and five ambulances ferried the children to the local hospital. Of the 72 students, 16 were said to be critical and have been sent to Kakinada General Hospital for better treatment, informed doctors at the Jaggampeta Community Health Centre (CHC).
Speaking to TNM, Jaggampeta CHC doctor, Dr K Satyanarayana, said that two of the students have suffered extreme dehydration. “Now, 30 students are under observation. The condition of the rest is stable. A few of them are already discharged. The students under observation are also recovering fast, their temperatures which shot to 103 are now dropping. The panic has contributed to the fever,” he said.
He added, “We administered the students with antibiotics to avoid any risk. There is no danger. They will be discharged by evening.”
Dr Venkateshwara Rao from the same hospital said, “The children suffered from diarrhoea and vomiting. They are recovering well. The food they consumed—Khichdi and egg, is suspected to be the cause for the children falling ill.”
Rao informed, “Samples of the food given to the children have been collected for examination by the relevant authorities.”
Jaggampeta Inspector Kashi Viswanath said that five ambulances including the national highway ambulance were pressed into service to shift the children. He said that local authorities including the medical department, helped in transporting the children.
The hospitals in Kakinada and Jaggampeta saw frenzied activity due to the huge number of students falling ill. Local officials including Tahsidar and Rural Development Officers thronged to the hospitals to enquire about the children’s condition, informed the Inspector.
Earlier this year in January, 12 students had fallen ill after suspected food poisoning in a minority school near Machilipatnam in Krishna district. The children recovered after treatment.