Staff Correspondent

Blood samples sent for tests do not confirm viral presence; residents say local councillor is on holiday

HASSAN: Since May 10, many residents of Siddaiah Nagar in Hassan have been suffering from an inexplicable fever. Five days ago, a seven-year-old boy, Yeshavanth, died due to suspected Dengue. This death created panic in the area, after which many people had their blood tested for Chikungunya or Dengue. But reports have shown negative.

A resident of the area, Ameer Jan, said that in his family, all members including a three-year-old child were suffering from fever for the past 15 days. Ambedkar Nagar is close to Siddaiah Nagar and there too people have been hit by fever.

District Surveillance Officer Hemalatha Shivakumar told The Hindu that she had drawn blood samples from all people suffering from fever and sent them for tests. The reports did not indicate any viral presence.

The problem in Siddaiah Nagar is that the drainage pipe and the drinking water pipe have been laid alongside each other and residents have been siphoning water from the drinking water pipeline, leading to mixing of sewage.

On Saturday morning, City Municipal Council president Ambika Ravishankar, accompanied by the District Health Officer, and other staff visited Siddaiah Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar. Heaps of garbage welcomed them, upon which Ms. Ravishankar directed the Commissioner to have it cleared at the earliest. But even on Sunday, the garbage lay where it was.

Among other problems include clogged drains and inaction against unauthorised taps.

Another resident, Sheriff, said the residents had appealed to the CMC to clear the garbage as well as to lay a separate drinking water pipeline, but no response has been forthcoming.

Ramesh, who lives in the area, said the entire colony was filthy. All drains had been clogged, and the air was mosquito-ridden. He complained that so far, no fogging had been undertaken, except on Saturday when the news of the fever made heads spin. Their agony does not end here.

There are as many as five mutton shops in the area which throw animal waste into the drain, making things dangerous.

The residents are also unhappy with their councillor, Srividya.

They say she rarely visits the colony (which is in ward number 31), as she is away holidaying. District Surgeon Prem Kumar said there were no reports of Dengue or Chikungunya, but, however, there was adequate stock of medicines in the Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences. The hospital was ready to provide treatment to any number of people affected, he added.

Ms. Shivakumar said she had visited both Siddaiah Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar and advised people to maintain cleanliness both inside their houses as well as outside. She also urged people to boil water before consumption.