Spike in jaundice cases at Vengoor in Ernakulam

Published - May 13, 2024 10:07 pm IST - KOCHI

Jaundice outbreak in Vengoor panchayat in the district has worsened with the number of cases going up to 175 from nearly 50 reported in the end of April.

A 34-year-old woman died, and 38 others are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in Kochi and Government Medical College Hospital, Kottayam, according to Silpa Sudheesh, panchayat president. The condition of a woman patient admitted to a private hospital in Kochi was critical, she said.

The first case, according to panchayat officials, was reported on April 18. Though it was considered as an isolated case, the number went up to five in two days. The possibility of an outbreak was confirmed after water samples collected from a pond, which was being used as a drinking water source, were found contaminated. The district health wing had said that a possible discharge from broken pipes had contaminated water in the affected areas.

Eldhose Kunnappilly, Perumbavoor MLA, said the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) should have been more cautious in ensuring proper chlorination of drinking water sources. With the motor used for pumping being switched on and off through a mobile application, regular site visits had taken a back seat, he added. KWA officials said chlorination had been done in all water sources.

Ms. Sudheesh said a meeting had been convened on Tuesday to discuss possible measures to extend financial aid to the affected families that had incurred huge expenses for treatment. Food kits have been distributed to the affected families. The public had been advised to consume only boiled water, she said.

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