Pradeep Pattanayak

After a brief lull, Odisha Health Department on Wednesday sounded an alert over possible outbreak of water-borne diseases. 

Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra said there is a possibility that incessant rainfall may trigger a fresh spike in cholera and diarrhoea cases. 

In view of the threat, the State Health Department has directed all CDMOs (Chief District Medical Officers) to remain alert and keep a close watch on the unfolding situation. Special focus will be on the southern districts of Odisha where maximum cases of diarrhoea and cholera were detected recently. Furthermore, medical teams will be engaged for frequent inspection in all critical districts.

“We need to ensure people drink potable and clean drinking water. All officials of the district administration have been asked to remain alert; purified drinking water supply is being ensured. People are being sensitized to wash their hands frequently, and not drink contaminated water as open defecation is still prevalent in many rural areas,” said the Public Health Director.  

Recently, more than 100 persons in Rayagada district were down with cholera while the disease claimed lives of over 10 people. The water-borne disease soon spread its tentacles to nearby districts forcing the government to deploy special teams to contain its further spread and initiate treatment of the ailing patients. Also, Health department employees along with ASHA workers were engaged to create awareness among residents in vulnerable pockets of the affected districts.