Woman’s death, diarrhoea cases trigger cholera scare

A resident of a slum in Chetpet died of a viral infection and 34 others from the same locality were taken ill with symptoms of severe diarrhoea and vomiting, diagnosed by government doctors as acute diarrheal disease on Saturday.

The cholera scare triggered in Chetpet spread to infection-prone north Chennai, where corporation health staff picked up and hospitalised around 30 people suffering from diarrhoea, during an emergency health camp Saturday morning. However, corporation officials said most of the hospitalised people had only mild stomach upset.

The affected - sometimes entire families from Ozone Kuppam and Pulla Nagar - are being treated at Kilpauk medical college hospital, government Stanley hospital and communicable disease hospital, Tondiarpet.

Corporation commissioner D. Karthikeyan said the affected areas were supplied with clean water through tankers as water from the area appeared to be the source of infection. Sources at King Institute in Guindy said the woman who died suffered a viral infection.

Director of public health, Dr Porkaipandian, urged the public to drink only boiled water and consume hot, home-made food.Though officials of Chennai metro water denied any contamination in the water they supplied, residents in Chetpet asserted that the water was grey and smelt like sewage.

Earlier, the metro water officials had blamed metro rail work as the digging fractures water lines and contaminates the water.

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