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Sharmili Mallick

In the times of Covid-19, panic gripped the Chitra Village in Balasore district as at least 11 people have reportedly died of some unknown disease that has left score others seriously ill.

As per reports, since the last two months, while nearly a dozen has succumbed, many more have fallen ill in the village of Keshipur panchayat under the Nilagiri block of Balasore district.

“As many as 11 villagers have died due to unknown disease. Initially, people afflicted with the disease show the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea. As their conditions worsen, and when patients were admitted to the hospital, they succumb to the disease there, said Jagannath Parida, a local resident.

Though we had gone for the sorcery and witchcraft therapy, it didn't yield any salutary impact on the spread and severity of the disease. Villagers are too afraid to come out of their house after sunset, he added

“A villager was suffering from nausea and diarrhoea following which he was admitted to the hospital. But after having been discharged from the hospital, the patient died a few days later. Some have, even, died while undergoing treatment at their homes. Health workers have distributed medicines and had appealed the villagers to drink boiled water,” said Sanjulata Mallik, an Anganwadi worker.

“None of the villagers has been admitted to the hospital yet. Therefore, the exact reason behind the deaths is yet to be ascertained. The symptoms indicate either food poisoning (consumption of toxic mushrooms) or diarrheal disease. As per the information available with us, only one person had died in the village,” said the ADMO.

Refuting the reports of a large number of deaths, Dr Mishra said our medical team will examine whether the village is under the grip of some viral disease.

"As soon as we received the information, a medical team had been dispatched to the village for diagnosing and treating the unknown disease that has created havoc in the village," Dr Mishra informed.

The team had hit the ground by collecting the samples from drinking water sources in the village and had sent the same for chemical analysis.

What looks surprising here is, instead of going for medical treatment, people of the village prefer sorcerers and local quacks for treatment.

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