Health inspectors belonging to the Public Health department have been instructed to chlorinate water sources throughout the State, and check for leaks in water pipes, Public Health director R.T. Porkaipandian said.

The instruction has been given after the recent outbreak of Acute Diarrhoeal Disease in Theni district. Mixed infection was found after the samples were tested in the area.

Of the 14 samples, nine tested positive for mixed infection – the cholera causing vibrio cholerae, and e-coli bacteria.

One person who tested positive also died.

Dr. Porkaipandian added that the outbreak had been caused by some contamination (with faecal matter and e-coli bacteria) in public water sources.

However, those sources had been cleaned and chlorinated. Others in the area who had not tested positive had been given prophylactic doses of doxycycline tablets as a preventive measure.

“Our HIs have been informed to make random checks on pipelines and water sources during their area visits. If any leaks are noticed, they will inform the local bodies to rectify the situation immediately. Sufficient quantities of chlorine have also been distributed to the districts,” he added.

Cyclone ‘Laila' had not caused any breach in water security issues in Chennai and other northern districts, he added.

Preventive measures

The Director of Public Health also stressed on the need for taking preventive measures such as washing hands with soap, drinking protected water, or hot/warm water.