Measures to be introduced in coastal areas
The Health Department and the National Rural Health Mission will launch a joint awareness and preventive action drive against cholera, water-borne and acute diarrhoeal diseases in the entire coastal belt from Sunday to ensure that there are no more disease outbreaks in the locality.
All health field staff, ASHAs and voluntary workers in the coastal areas are being mobilised for the exercise, which will be carried out in Karumkulam panchayat, where a cholera case was reported, as well as the near-by panchayats of Kottukal, Vizhinjam-Mukkola and Poovar from Sunday.
The Health Department has also sounded an alert that people should be very careful about cooking mussels, which are in season now, as there is a link between shell fish and cholera outbreaks.
The cholera bacterium may also live in brackish rivers and coastal waters and mussels are found attached to rocks by the waters.
Only one case of diarrhoea was reported at Pulluvila CHC on Saturday. So far, 22 cases of diarrhoea have been reported. Apart from the two cases already confirmed, no other cholera case was reported.
The department is also collecting daily the samples of the fresh water being distributed in tanker lorries for testing.
There has also been some speculation that the 2,000-odd pit latrines could have led to contaminated soil coming to the surface.