A day after eight water samples collected from the diarrhoea-hit areas of Samana subdivision were found to be contaminated, the microbiology lab at the Patiala Government Medical College on Tuesday found the presence of deadly cholera bacteria (Vibrio cholerae) in a stool sample collected from one of the patients last week, indicating towards mixing of sewage in the drinking water supply.
A senior epidemiologist with the local health department told HT that the ‘Vibrio cholerae’ is the kind of bacteria responsible for cholera, which is an acute and highly infectious diarrhoeal disease.
“Its revelation in a stool sample proves beyond doubt that the water being supplied to the affected areas was not fit for human drinking and this led to serious health hazards for people living there,” he added
Since last week, the diarrhoea outbreak in Samana has reportedly claimed 7 lives besides over 350 already treated in its civil hospital.
While the number of patients from the affected areas such as Tibbi Mohali, Sarai Patti, Gharam Patti and Tej Colony has come down days after the administration snapped the entire water supply to these areas but the situation has not fully improved, it has been learnt.
The administration was on its toes for the last 24 hours as diarrhoea cases have been reported from new areas such as Indra Colony, Malkana Patti, Machi Adda and Krishna Colony.
Officials worry that since the source of water supply in these new areas was the same as in other affected areas, there are chances that the infested bacteria might have travelled there as well. Deputy commissioner Ramvir Singh told HT that though the number of patients from new areas is comparatively less, it was still a major cause of worry.
“We are taking all precautionary measures in advance. For instance, the health department has already taken fresh water samples from these areas to find out contamination. Few medical camps already been held there for close observation of new patients,” he added.
On the revelation of ‘Vibrio cholerae’ in stool samples, the DC said that human negligence can’t be ruled out in this incident. “The additional deputy commissioner (ADC development) will submit his inquiry report in a day or so on human negligence. “Action will be taken whosoever is responsible for it,” he added.