Vengoor Hepatitis A outbreak: RDO submits report to Ernakulam district collector after probe

There have been three deaths and the condition of two others is serious.
For representational purposes only
For representational purposes onlyExpress Illustrations

KOCHI: The Muvattupuzha revenue divisional officer (RDO), who was tasked with investigating the reasons behind the Hepatitis A outbreak in Vengoor, is learnt to have submitted his findings to District Collector N S K Umesh on Thursday.

Since the first case reported on April 18, around 271 residents of Vengoor grama panchayat have contracted Hepatitis A so far, of whom more than 100 had to be hospitalised. There have been three deaths and the condition of two others is serious.

The district administration believes improper chlorination of the water supplied by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) led to the outbreak. A top official with the district administration said further action will be taken based on the RDO’s findings.

“The RDO has submitted the enquiry report. Based on it, we will write to the state government and suggest taking action if improper chlorination of water sources by the KWA is found to be the reason for the outbreak,” Umesh said.

Vengoor panchayat officials too accused the KWA of failing to chlorinate water sources and alleged that the supply of contaminated water for the pumping station resulted in the outbreak. “There is an issue with chlorination, and the KWA has a role in it. We have written to the district administration and state health department to take action against it,” said Baiju Paul, a ward member in the panchayat.

Meanwhile, Umesh said the state government has been apprised of providing financial aid to the people hospitalised and the families of the deceased, and it will take an action accordingly. Vengoor grama panchayat vice-president Krishnankutty said the disease affected residents of wards 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

“No new cases have been reported in the last two weeks. The situation seems to be under control. Three people are still in hospitals and their condition is critical,” Krishnankutty said.

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