Operation Vibrio, an action plan to tackle the recurring incidents of food poisoning and waterborne diseases, has been launched in Kozhikode. The Health Department has also issued an alert against cholera in the district.
District Medical Officer Ummer Farooque said on Tuesday that the effort was to detect diseases such as cholera, shigella, amoebiasis, typhoid and jaundice that spread through contaminated food and water. As many as 17 cases of food poisoning had been reported in the district between February and November this year. As many as 257 people were infected and two died. Family events and wedding receptions and the food supplied in shops and hostels were reported to be the source of the infection. Some others took ill through having ice cream and fruit juices. The presence of bacteria such as vibrio cholerae, coliform, and e-coli had been found in water sources in some parts of the district as well.
The first phase of Operation Vibrio will cover seven days from November 23. A survey on drinking water sources, superchlorination of wells, and awareness events will be held. Water samples will be collected from drinking water sources that are suspected to be contaminated. Catering units and those which cook and sell food, hostels and wedding events will be inspected by health inspectors, medical officers, and health supervisors. The second phase will cover all wards in the local bodies.
Meanwhile, the DMO urged the people to be on alert against all waterborne diseases, including cholera. Adults are often found to get infected in areas where fresh outbreaks are reported. In places where the infection is found to prolong, children too will get affected. The symptoms will manifest either within hours or by five days. Rarely, there are carriers of the infection who are asymptomatic. Personal hygiene and environmental hygiene should be observed and quality of drinking water and food should be ensured, the DMO added.