Article courtesy of TNN | March 9, 2015 | The Times of India | Shared as educational material
RAIPUR: A study conducted by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi, has confirmed the presence of coliform bacteria, found in feces in the drinking water supply in Raipur and identified it as the main cause for recent jaundice (Hepatitis E) breakout in city, which claimed two lives and left hundreds infected. According to sources in health department, the NCDC study, conducted by officer of Epidemic Intelligence Services (EIS), confirmed presence of the infectious bacteria in six of the 40 samples that were sent for tests as per WHO norms.
Since these tests were conducted almost one and half months after the outbreak and post the change of pipelines by Raipur Municipal Corporation, the presence of coliform bacteria could have been higher earlier, claim officials.
The report, the details of which were not immediately known, would be submitted to health secretary on Monday.
The outbreak, which started in the last couple of months of 2014 due to contamination of drinking water with seepage from sewage pipelines in DD Nagar, continued unabated and spread to other areas, forcing health authorities to seek NCDC’s help to investigate the cause and suggest remedies.
Meanwhile, health officials and doctors have advised people to boil water before consumption. They say that those using water filters should also boil the water adequately before drinking.
Raising concern, a senior health official said the bacteria are highly dangerous to human health. He said the most common bacteria of coliform group is escherichia coli, commonly known as E Coli, which is an indicator of micro-organism for other pathogens that may be present in feces. “The presence of fecal coliform in aquatic environment indicates that the water has been contaminated with fecal material of man or animals. When its levels are high, there is an elevated risk of waterborne diseases,” he added.
Since these tests were conducted almost one and half months after jaundice outbreak and post the change of pipelines, the presence of coliform bacteria could have been higher earlier.