Two days after two children died following consuming milk as part of mid-day meal at a school in Kansi Ram colony in Mathura, the area is facing another crisis – with over 100 people suffering from cholera which “virtually has taken an epidemic form”.
“Anganwadi Assistant Usha Devi, who was also taken ill after consuming the milk, died last evening. The number of children and adults suffering from vomiting and loose motion has swelled from 48 by Thursday evening to 118 today,” officiating Chief Medical Officer Dr Sajjan Kumar said.
Since only 29 children had consumed milk on Wednesday as part of mid-day meal and a majority are of different age groups, it has been established that cholera has spread in the area, District Magistrate Rajesh Kumar said. “There was no casualty today. On the basis of stool test it has been established that most of the patients are suffering from cholera which virtually has taken an epidemic form,” he said, adding the other cause appears to be mixing of drain water with drinking water.
“Over 100 patients have been discharged after treatment and 79 are still admitted at different hospitals but they are out of danger,” the district magistrate said.
Since nothing wrong was found in the overhead water tank of Kanshi Ram Colony, underground pipeline leading to different houses, was checked. “At a few places the pipeline was found damaged with some portion in contact with drains. It may be another reason of cholera,” he said.
A temporary 20-bed hospital, lead by two doctors, has been set up in the primary school adjacent to Kanshi Ram Colony. Also two teams of experts will arrive here from Lucknow, Kumar said. Since cases from adjacent Baad, Aurangabad and Sarai Azmabad villages have also been reported, 50 beds have been added in Swarn Jayanti Hospital and District Hospitals each, he said.
“Cleanliness drive with 250 Safai Karmi has started in the area. Since it is an infectious disease, people are advised not to consume stale food or cut fruits and wash hand before eating,” Kumar added. The officiating CMO said though he is not in a position to give the exact break up of the patients, a majority of them are children and asserted that cholera may be another reason of the casualties and people falling ill.