Berhampur: Cholera has been detected in some patients in diarrhoea-hit Jagannath Prasad area of Ganjam district, officials said today.

At least two out of the 10 samples tested at the microbiology department of MKCG Medical College and Hospital here were tested positive for cholera, Additional District Medical Officer (ADMO, public health), Jagadish Patnaik said.

"We have alerted the medical officers in the community heatlh centre at Jagannath Prasad and asked the health workers to create awareness among people to maintain personal hygiene and take boiled water," he said.

The health officials have asked the Block Development Officer (BDO) to take qhick steps to plug the leaking pipelines and disinfect waterbodies in the area after the test report was received. Officials said it was the first time cholera cases were detected this year in the district.

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Meanwhile, the number of persons affected in diarrhoea is 151 in 36 villages. Diarrhoea has already claimed three lives in the area in the past one week, they said.

The disease broke out in the area after the vilagers took pana (a traditional sweet drink) prepared allegedly with contaminated water of a village pond at Kadua on the occasion of Meru Shankranti on April 14, official sources said.

"We have already taken steps to disinfect water sources and distributed halogen tablets in the area suspecting the disease might be cholera," said the ADMO adding that the situation is under control as very few new cases have been reported from the area.