Laboratory tests have confirmed that five children died at two slum colonies in the last 10 days were suffering from diphtheria.
The state health authorities have taken several measures to fight against the communicable disease including mass medication drive in the twin urban slum areas of Davar Colony and Ashok Vihar - located near Kutani Road, here.
Since August 30, several cases of suspected of diphtheria were reported and five children-below the age of five-years had died.
Inhabited by a large population of migrant workers engaged in various handloom and allied units of this industrial town, the slums are developed illegally and lack any sewer or any other drainage system.
Panipat chief medical officer (CMO) Dr SP Gupta told Hindustan Times on Monday that following the confirmation of diphtheria outbreak in Panipat, the department had taken several preventive steps in the area.
He said that situation was under control.
"No fresh case of any patient suffering from sore throat, one of the prime diphtheria symptoms, is reported from the town. But we are cautious and maintaining a close watch in the region," he said.
Since children are most vulnerable to catch the bacterial infections of this transmittable disease, total 65 children of the slums were put full preventive medication.
Medical check-ups of scores of adult residents were also done in the area.
According to the CMO, the situation was quite serious and the district administration had taken appropriate steps to control the outbreak in time.
He said that mass awareness campaign had been launched in the town against the deadly disease. Residents have been asked to contact the Civil Surgeon office at Bhim Sain Sacchar Civil Hospital where isolation wards had been established for the suspected cases.
He said that prevailing highly unhygienic conditions made the residents vulnerable to diseases, including malaria.
"Following suggestions, the administration has started mass cleaning exercise. We are keeping our fingers crossed that no rain hit the area in the next fortnight to avoid any fresh outbreak of water-borne diseases including malaria, diarrhea etc," said the CMO.