With the south west monsoon in full swing, the dreaded cholera seems to have raised its ugly head in different districts of the State. Not just Angul, Kalahandi and Nuapada too have reported positive cases triggering apprehension that the killer disease could unleash its fury in more districts of Odisha.
A worried Health department on Friday rushed more samples from Angul and Dhenkanal to ascertain if cholera is spreading to new areas. Samples from Puri’s Pipili, where the organism was found to be existent, too have been sent for investigation, State Disease Surveillance Officer Dr Pramila Baral said.
So far three deaths have been reported in the State and these are suspected to be caused by vibrio cholerae, the bacteria responsible for water-borne disease.
Much to its worry, Kalahandi, which saw several deaths in 2008, has reported two cases of cholera in Jaipatna block, but the Health department claimed the situation is under control. One case has been reported from Nuapada district.
While cholera has been reported from at least three districts as of now, the State Government appears to be sitting on a proposal from Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) to launch vaccination in Rayagada’s Kashipur block, which had witnessed a major outbreak in 2007.
The ICMR-arm last month submitted a proposal with the Director of Health Services for vaccinating a population of 1 lakh in Kashipur block, but the Health department is yet to take a call on the issue. The RMRC proposal came following a recommendation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in this regard.
Taking forward its successful pilot vaccination in Puri’s Satyabadi block last year, the ICMR unit has suggested that Kashipur could be the next point given its vulnerability to the disease.
In Satyabadi block, at least 32,000 people out of 52,000 were vaccinated during the project.
Interestingly, while cholera has been detected in Angul, Kalahandi and Nuapada, all samples of Rayagada have been tested negative. The RMRC has been operating two field units in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts.