Banaskantha districts Dhanera town and nine surrounding villages have been declared cholera-hit after five people died there over the last one week and 222 were admitted to hospitals with symptoms of diarrhea.
District Collector J M Vohra issued a notification to this effect on Wednesday after it was confirmed that the five died of diarrheal diseases. One of them was tested positive for cholera.
Doctors heading the Health and Family Welfare (H&FW) Departments epidemiology division said a lab test confirmed vibrio cholerae in the stool sample of one of the deceased. The bacteria leads to an infection of the small intestine,causing massive diarrhea.
The situation is under control. The notification was not to cause panic but to take precautionary measures, said Vohra.
Authorities said that leaks were detected in the Sipu dam the towns main source of water and stopped supply from there as a precautionary measure.
Vohra said test results of water samples from the dam came out negative this afternoon. However,water supply has not been resumed yet. The township is being supplied water from six bores in the vicinity.
The situation has improved since the first case was reported. Just one fresh case was detected on Wednesday. Some fresh cases may be expected in the next few days,but the situation is under control, said Dr Dinkar Raval,deputy director (epidemiology),health department.
A five-member team of doctors is currently camping at Dhanera for survey and screening,he added.
According to officials,a few people started going to hospitals with symptoms of diarrhea around June 27 or 28. One of them died while he was being transferred to a better-equipped health facility. Diarrhea was suspected at first,but the death made it scary, said a doctor,explaining simple diarrhea is largely non-fatal.
Subsequently,the health department ordered a sample test of water in the area and also sent stool samples
of the deceased to B J Medical College in Ahmedabad for testing.
In the meantime,more people fell ill and 221 were admitted to hospitals with symptoms of diarrhea. Five of them died,three at the Community Health Centre (CHC) and two at a Public Health Centre (PHC).