BALASORE: Spread of jaundice in several localities of Balasore town has put the health officials and authorities of urban local body on their toes. More than 40 persons of the town are suffering from the viral hepatitis for the last few days.
While the administration is yet to find out the reasons behind the possible outbreak of jaundice, locals have blamed it on old and damaged pipe lines which have not been changed since long.
Sources said the disease was first diagnosed in Padhuanpada of the town and seven members of Ajay Jena’s family have been affected. The disease later spread to nearby areas including Mallikashpur and Azimabad.
The health administration has been conducting awareness campaigns to sensitise people on measures to prevent the disease.
CDMO Bhavani Shankar Pani said, people have been warned to be cautious while using pipe water. The health workers also have been pressed into service to disinfect water sources in the affected areas, he added.
While most of the areas in the coastal town lack sewerage system, main drains in many areas are in a dilapidated condition. Several leaking pipe lines pass close to drains posing serious health threats for the denizens.
The town has nearly 630 km of drains of which 70 per cent are damaged.
Sources said pipe water supply in the town was started in 1940 when PVC pipes were used for the purpose. Though already more than 75 years have passed, in many places the pipes are yet to be replaced.
Executive Engineer Pareswar Jena said, three teams - one each from health, municipality and PHED - have visited the affected areas and collected water samples. Those were are not found to be affected with the bacteria, he added.