After Cyclone, Diseases Set to Hit Visakhapatnam

Communicable diseases are ready to strike the city and other parts of North Coastal Andhra as tonnes of debris and organic waste still await clearance.

VISHAKAPATNAM : The woes of people in cyclone-ravaged Visakhapatnam are far from over. Even as they are recuperating from the devastation, another threat is looming large in the form of diseases. Communicable diseases are ready to strike the city and other parts of North Coastal Andhra as tonnes of debris, including animal carcasses and organic waste still await clearance.

Doctors have a word of caution for people, particularly the elderly and the children, as clean water is key to good health; and the city is facing the severe water crisis. Though the authorities have been trying to supply safe drinking water, many households are not able to get it, and depending on borewells and other sources for their water needs. “Infections are likely to spread. We recommend consumption of only boiled water,” said Dr Mohan S Maharaj, medical director at Care Hospital. He also said that drinking more water is advised, especially by the aged and children, as there would be a rise in temperature. Fresh vegetables are recommended over fast foods, he said.

With thousands of birds have died, health experts say it would be better to avoid consumption of chicken as quality of meat cannot be assured; the same hold true for mutton too.

Sanitation issues have surfaced soon after the Hudhud devastation. Many places were waterlogged and turned into breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Drains were filled with leaves, small plants and household waste. “They are full of flies,” said Y Neelima, a Maddilapalem resident and a student of Avanthi College.

As the municipality is still engaged in removing uprooted trees, electric poles etc, sanitation has been neglected. Doctors warn of the possibility of diarrhoea, jaundice, malaria and other diseases. “Trying to keep the surroundings clean is the best way to avoid diseases,” said Dr G Satyanarayana, consultant gastroenterologist at Care Hospital.

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