Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Narla, Sep 10:
Panic gripped Narla block of Odisha’s Kalahandi district after one more death was reported from the remote Dudalu village on Tuesday taking the official cholera death toll in the area to four.
An elderly woman identified as Sunadei Gouda of Dudalu village in Kurmel grampanchayat under Narla block succumbed to the disease on Tuesday.
As the news spread a medical team from Narla hospital rushed to the village and shifted two severely affected persons to Narla hospital for treatment, reports said.
Reports said Merdikupa and other areas of Kalahandi’s Lanjigarh block still remain severely affected with gastro enteritis.
Kalahandi CDMO Dr Labanyaprava Mund and senior doctors of the district on Tuesday visited Narla Hospital to oversee treatment cholera patients.
A few days back laboratory test of rectal swabs collected from patients in Narla block had confirmed the presence of deadly ‘vibrio cholerae’ in them.
Three persons had succumbed to cholera in the interior areas of Narla over the last 15 days after the disease spread in the block, reports said.
The district administration had sent rectal swabs of some patients to Bhubaneswar for laboratory tests after condition of around 120 persons afflicted with gastro enteritis turned serious between August 20 and September 5.
The suspicion that the deadly water borne bacteria has infected water sources in the Narla block and its adjoining areas has led to panic among the local people.
Local government officials who were in the denial mode earlier and had tried their best to present the cholera deaths as cases of diarrhea and gastro enteritis changed their version after Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak directed Health officials of four districts at a review meeting at the state secretariat to keep a close watch over the situation.
It is to be noted that the ‘vibrio cholerae’ bacteria had claimed several precious lives in Koraput and Rayagada districts in recent years.