Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Health alert: Four cases of cholera reported in Hyderabad --- There is no sign of epidemic condition, stress doctors

By Udumula Sudhakar Reddy

Four cases of cholera have been reported to Fever Hospital raising public concern over water contamination in the city. Doctors stressed it was not an epidemic.

Fever Hospital superintendent Dr K. Shankar said, “Around four cases tested positive in the past few days and we are treating them after confirmation of the Vibrio cholerae strain. In the past two months, there were a total of 10 cases including these four reported in the past two days.”

He said patients usually came with symptoms of vomiting and loose motion and are treated for diarrhoea and gastroenteritis after diagnosis. “In these cases they had ‘rice water stool’ which we sent for culture. In the stool culture using the hanging drop method, it was confirmed as cholera.”

Rice water stool is likened to water from boiled rice with a fishy odour, and is said to be one of the early symptoms of cholera along with vomiting of clear fluid. The treatment constitutes antibiotics and rehydration.

Health minister Dr C. Laxma Reddy confirming the cholera cases said, “These cases are not from one specific area. They are random cases which are usually reported every year. If cases are reported from one colony or locality then it would be an epidemic and a worrisome situation.”

He said that the patients were given immediate treatment. “I have asked the health staff to check the situation and we will be talking to the civic bodies to find out the source of contamination.” Cholera is spread by faeco-oral contamination. Water, food and vegetables contaminated with faeces are also in the list.

No sign of epidemic condition 
Dr Shankar said, “We consider them as routine cases and notify about them the district and state health authorities as a precautionary measure. There is no epidemic. Only if at a time around 20 to 30 cases come from one specific geographic location we consider it an epidemic.”

He said the patients came from the areas surrounding the city. He said all the patients were treated and their family members were isolated and treated. Cholera is spread by faeco-oral contamination. Water, food and vegetables contaminated with faeces may lead to this situation.

Telangana director of medical education Dr K, Ramani, who was in Vijayawada, “It is the rainy season so there could be a possibility. I will find out with Fever Hospital.”

Hyderabad district medical and health officer Dr P. Venkateswara Rao denied that cholera cases had been reported in the city. “There are no cholera cases. IPM has not notified us on the test results. These are only gastroenteritis and diarrhoea cases.

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