Reported by Ranjan Rath
Malkangiri, Dec 12:
A mystery disease continues to create mayhem in backward Malkangiri district of Odisha. While 11 children have already fallen victim to it as per the report of the Chief District Medical officer (CDMO), unofficial sources, however, have put the toll at 20.
The disease continues to spread at an alarming rate in Korkonda, Kalimela and Padia blocks.
“The disease is seen among children aged between one and fifteen. It starts with fever and causes vomiting, joint pain and muscle aches. The patients usually die within a day or two,” said Ghenu Madhi from Patrel village.
The Health department of government of Odisha has woken up to the problem only after the media highlighted it repeatedly. Specialist medical teams from Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Berhampur have now reached the affected villages such as Materu, Patrel, Aerbanpalli, Rangamatiguda, Chimtapali, Buduri and Chintalwada to collect blood samples.
Speaking to OST, Irma Kabasi of Aerbanpalli said, “The villagers are really scared and have sent the kids away to their relatives. The entire village is now deserted.” “There are only 33 doctors in different community health centres out of 97 granted positions. The villagers have no choice but to turn to the local priests and herbal doctors, which makes matters worse,” added Bhakta Madhi of Rangamatiguda,
“Mobile medical teams have reached the spot and are treating the patients in the affected villages. Blood samples of infected children have also been sent to the laboratory and the test report is awaited. However, from the primary symptoms, we suspect it to be Japanese Encephalitis,” said Uday Shankar Mishra, CDMO of Malkangiri.