One more dies of acute gastroenteritis in Shivamogga, toll rises to four

Residents in a single locality in Bhadravathi taluk had complained of common symptoms, such as severe nausea and diarrhoea.
One more dies of acute gastroenteritis in Shivamogga, toll rises to four
One more dies of acute gastroenteritis in Shivamogga, toll rises to four
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The death toll has gone up to four at Bhadravathi, which saw an outbreak of gastroenteritis last weekend.

The death toll in Shivamogga district’s Bhadravathi taluk, where a gastroenteritis outbreak was reported, has gone up further. The death of a 74-year old resident, Hussain Saheb, has taken the death toll to four.

According to officials with the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Saheb had a history of diabetes and blood pressure, and died when he failed to respond to treatment after he was rushed to the hospital with gastroenteritis.

The fear of death looms large at Bhadravathi with nearly 70 residents suffering from acute gastroenteritis. At least 50 patients have been hospitalised. While 30 of them are admitted to Maax Super Speciality Hospital, the other 20 are at Mega Hospital.

Late on Saturday residents in a single locality had begun to complain of common symptoms. Most of them had severe nausea and diarrhoea. On Sunday, the death of three patients – Shivappa (75), Panchanna (70) and Hanumanthappa (42) was reported.

Dr Hanumanthappa, DHO in-charge, Shivamogga said that on examining samples of water consumed from an overhead tank, it was found to be contaminated and this was the cause of the gastroenteritis outbreak.

“We saw that people living on two roads around Anjaneya Beedhi area had symptoms. They all consumed water from an overhead tank. That was the source of the gastroenteritis. The water was not potable,” he said.

Dr Hanumanthappa said that the health department had issued the necessary guidelines and precautionary measures were in place.

“We have stopped the source of water and are supplying water from tankers to these areas. We have also advised the locals not to consume any outside food. They must ensure that only freshly cooked food is consumed. ORS has been distributed to the affected households,” he added.

Doxycycline, a drug used to treat bacterial infections, is also being prescribed for locals irrespective of whether or not they have symptoms of the disease.

Dr Sathyanarayana, medical superintendent, McGann Teaching Hospital, Shivamogga said that 21 patients with acute GE have been admitted there.

“A dedicated ward has been allotted to treat these patients at the hospital. We have also ensured that additional doctors and nurses are deployed. They have been given instructions to follow strict hand hygiene,” he said.

NHRC notice

The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo mottu cognisance of the issue and sought a report from the state government in this regard.

“The Commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks. It has observed that the contents of the news report, if true, raise serious issue of violation of Right to Life and Health of the victims as the drinking water is the basic amenity and the State is bound to ensure its uncontaminated supply.

“As per news report, carried today on the 13th February, 2018, the water samples have been collected from two overhead tanks in the village and from the houses of the patients. These have been sent to the laboratory for examination. The residents have, reportedly, expressed their anguish that the water tanks are not cleaned regularly. It is further mentioned that a similar outbreak of gastroenteritis was reported from the same area in 2017 also,” the NHRC said in a statement.

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