Two persons have died and over 50 others of Anusonai village near Kelamangalam in the district were admitted to hospitals after complaining of vomiting and diarrhoea. Public health authorities blamed it on sewage mixing with drinking water because of leaks in a supply line.

The authorities admitted that one of them P. Venkatesappa (75) died of this problem, but contended that Muniappa (70) died of respiratory and kidney diseases, though he was admitted to the hospital with diarrhoea and vomiting caused by the contamination. People were admitted to various hospitals, including Kelamangalam Primary Health Centre, Government Taluk Hospital and also private hospitals in Hosur and Bangalore over the last 20 days, R.S. Sivakumar, president of Podisipalli Panchayat, said on Thursday.

The patients, mostly elderly men and women, were being admitted to Kelemanagalam PHC from June 5. About 30 persons were admitted between June 5 and June 13, PHC sources said.

When contacted, Block Medical Officer Senthil Ramanathan said the diarrhoea outbreak was first reported on May 26 and was immediately contained. It resurfaced in the village after a spell of rain. He said drainage water contaminated drinking water because of leaks at two places in the pipe. The leaks were then plugged by the authorities.

The Health Department started chlorination of water in the main tank and also did a chlorination check on water stored in houses.

Dr. Senthil Ramanathan confirmed the death due to diarrhoea, but denied the death of another person P. Muniyappa to the outbreak. Muniyappa had renal failure and also suffered from wheezing when he came to a private hospital.

He was referred to another private hospital in Hosur and died later. Earlier, he was admitted in Kelamangalam PHC for diarrhoea.

Meanwhile, B. Prem Kumar, Deputy Director of Health Services, said the situation would be controlled soon. The local body was asked to change the two-decade-old pipeline.

Denkanikottai Tahsildhar K. Madheshwari told The Hindu that she visited the village two days ago and supervised the disinfection activities of the health department.

She said the situation was improving.

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