Special medical teams formed to monitor cases

The acute water scarcity plaguing Madurai district is posing a major challenge to public health authorities as more fever cases have been reported, especially from rural areas.

Health officials say that there is a direct link between drinking water shortage and fever since people tend to store water for longer period during the summer months which leads to mosquito breeding and spread of fever.

This season’s first fever outbreak was reported from a village in Tirumangalam block and the Health Department formed special teams to control fever in the area.

S. Senthilkumar, Deputy Director of Health Services, Madurai district, told The Hindu on Wednesday that 15 persons at Thangalacheri village in Tirumangalam block got fever at the same time, and they were treated at the nearby Sathangudi primary health centre.

Water contamination was found to be the reason for the spurt in fever cases in the village, and some of the affected persons tested positive for typhoid. “Water supply holds the key to this situation, and wherever water is contaminated, it results in more number of fever cases being reported. The water supply pipelines at Thangalacheri have been repaired now and the situation is under control,” he said.

Stating that the doctors at the Government Hospital in Tirumangalam had been put on alert, Dr. Senthilkumar said local bodies had to ensure that the drinking water was chlorinated and the public too had to avoid storing water for a long time as it might cause proliferation of viruses in fresh water.

The health authorities had brought all the blocks in Madurai district under fever surveillance to prevent outbreak of diseases during the summer months, he noted.

A senior public health official said measures to control fever should have been taken in time in Tirumangalam block and no adequate steps were taken to prevent water contamination there. “Medical teams are working on it now and it is essential for the public to extend cooperation to health authorities in their respective areas,” he added.

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