Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kendrapara/Keonjhar, Dec 31:
Even as the Odisha government is finding itself on the backfoot over its failure to contain the alarming situation arising out of outbreak of jaundice in Sambalpur, the dreaded disease has now spread its tentacles to Kendrapara and Keonjhar districts.
With jaundice cases already identified in Tangi block of Khordha district four days ago, the disease is now threatening to be come an all Odisha phenomenon, giving sleepless nights to the beleaguered Health department.
While at least 22 person have shown symptoms of the killer water borne disease in Malliksahi of Endara village under Kansara gram panchayat in Kendrapara district, two persons died of the disease in Keonjhar district yesterday.
Health department officials who visited Endara village said at least 14 had confirmed symptoms of the disease while seven others are suspected to be afflicted with it.
Kendrapara ADMO M A Baig told reporters today that medical teams have been rushed to the village and have taken stock of the situation.
Baig said blood samples of the affected villagers have been sent to Microbiology department of SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack while samples of drinking water have been dispatched to Pathology and Bacteriology departments of the hospital.
Sources of drinking water are being disinfected since it is suspected that contaminated drinking water could have led to the outbreak, Health department officials said.
Reports said one Guru Prasad Sahu (23) of Puruna Bazaar locality of Keonjhar town died of jaundice yesterday afternoon. He was sick for a period of time and was diagnosed with jaundice on Monday. He succumbed to the disease while undergoing treatment. Sibaprasad Acharya (24) Kabitra village near Keonjhar town died of jaundice and malaria yesterday.
According to Sibaprasad’s father Durga Charan Acharya, his son had recently visited Sambalpur to drop his sister there and had been down with fever since his return. Three days back, he was admitted to the district headquarters hospital at Keonjhar. Tests conducted at the hospital confirmed that he was suffering from jaundice and he died while undergoing treatment early on Monday morning.
OST reporter from Sambalpur adds that out of 81 blood samples collected for examination in the town on Monday, 31 have tested positive for jaundice taking the total number of those afflicted with the killer disease to 2,308 officially. However, the official toll due to the disease stood at 19.