BENGALURU: One more labourer from the Sobha Dream Acres construction site in Varthur was referred to St John’s Hospital at 1am on January 1 as he showed cholera-like symptoms. This comes even as all the three water samples tested negative for cholera at the Public Health Institute laboratory in a rapid diagnostic test called hanging drop. But the samples tested positive for E.coli, a bacteria, some strains of which can cause diarrhoea, while others can cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, besides other illnesses.
The worker is in a private ward room at St John’s and is stable. On December 31, 36 people were screened and seven showed clinical symptoms for cholera. On December 30, 189 people were screened and 48 showed clinical symptoms and two were referred to the hospital. At St John’s Hospital, seven samples tested by the hanging drop method on Saturday were positive for cholera. Three of these samples have grown vibrio cholera, which is a gold standard for cholera.
The autopsy reports of the two deceased are still awaited and the water samples have now been sent for culture test for cholera, which will take 72 hours for testing. Three other tests for jaundice, typhoid and E.coli are being done, and the results will take eight days. Meanwhile, sanitising the labour camps, screening and treatment are on at the Varthur site.
Krishnappa B K, Varthur PHC medical officer, told Express, “To do the culture test of the water samples as per World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, it will take 72 hours. E.coli can cause urinary tract infection. There is no doubt that the water was unfit for drinking. We are doing three other tests for E.coli, jaundice and typhoid. It will take time to grow the bacteria. The patients showed gastroenteritis and that can be caused by viral or bacterial infections.”