Health authorities say contaminated water supply behind sudden spike
A sudden rise in typhoid cases has been witnessed in Rajouri and its adjoining areas forcing the district health authorities to take various preventive measures and organise several programmes to make people aware about the disease and its prevention.
The Superintendent, District Hospital, Rajouri, said out of 148 cases registered at the medicine and pediatrics out-patient departments at the hospital on Friday, 65 cases were of Typhoid.
The Superintendent, however, said: “The matter is not serious and the patients are responding to prescribed treatment.”
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Rajeev Sharma said since the last three-four days several cases of typhoid had been reported at the district hospital and health centres in the vicinity of Rajouri town.
He said the main reason behind the sudden rise in typhoid cases was contaminated water. “After collecting data from the district hospital/health centres and diagnostic laboratories it has been established that most of the patients are from Rajouri and its adjoining areas.
The reason behind this is probably contaminated water supplied through the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department,” the CMO said.
The officer has constituted two teams of doctors/health officials to organise awareness programmes in the town and its peripheral areas. A medical team including District Health Officer Dr Chaman Bashin, District Immunisation Officer Dr Yash Karsyal and Principal Boys Higher Secondary School, Rajouri, Rakesh Gupta held an awareness programme on the school premises and made students aware about the reasons, symptoms and prevention of typhoid.
The CMO, meanwhile, said the matter has been taken up with the district administration and Executive Engineers of the PHE and the hydraulic department to check any leakage in the supply line and source of contamination.
He further said people from all age groups were affected and children were more vulnerable to the disease. “Medical teams have been deputed in the town and its adjoining areas to aware people about typhoid,” Dr Sharma said. He said the rise in typhoid cases cannot be termed as epidemic as the spread was restricted to a particular area.
“So far no casualty has been reported. Also no patient has been referred to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu, so it will not feasible at this time to declare typhoid as an epidemic,” the CMO said.
The District Hospital Superintendent said: “As almost all the cases were reported from Rajouri town and its adjoining areas it cannot be said it’s an epidemic.”
The officer further said: “Contaminated water supplied by the PHE is the main reason behind the disease.”
He advised people to boil the water for at least 10 minutes before consuming it. Dr Rajeev Sharma, meanwhile, said special awareness camps were being organised at schools to make children aware about the disease and through them spread the message among masses.
One of the major reasons behind the supply of contaminated potable water is the alleged defunct water filtration plant at Rajouri. Also, most of the supply lines pass through drains and there is every possible chance that the human and industrial waste might seep into the supply chain.