BALASORE:AT least three persons, including two women, died of diarrhoea while 26 persons were affected in a remote village under Oupada block of Balasore district on Thursday. Though the reason behind the sudden outbreak is yet to be known, officials say consumption of contaminated water and jungle mushroom might have led to the waterborne disease in the tribal-dominated village. The deceased have been identified as Sanatan Khandei (60), Pabitra Senapati (58) and Sasmita Patra (14) of Aguana Sahi in Aghirapada panchayat. Of the 26 affected persons, 20 have been admitted in the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) while four and two are undergoing treatment at Soro and Khaira hospitals, respectively.
Locals said initially, 14 persons were affected on Wednesday and their number rose to 29 on Thursday of which three died due to delay in treatment. Having a population of nearly 1,000, this village is located close to the forest. As there is no facility for safe drinking water in the village, people fetch water from a nearby pit. “The villagers had consumed jungle mushroom besides water from the pit. We suspect this could be the reason. People fall victim to diseases since they are unable to reach hospital in time due to lack of road communication,” said Ward Member Subash Jharial.
He said the patients were carried in rope beds to the nearby connecting road from where they were rushed to the hospitals. The absence of doctors at Oupada hospital also delayed the treatment and they were later shifted to Soro, Khaira and Balasore hospitals. Meanwhile, the district administration has sent a medical team to the village to take stock of the situation and remain watchful. Balasore CDMO Bhabani Shankar Pani said in the tribal areas, people initially do not wish to get admitted in the hospital and prefer home remedies before taking any medicines. “In this case also the affected villagers first conducted a special puja in their village on Wednesday and when no improvement was witnessed, they brought the patients to the hospital,” he said, adding that the medical team is camping in the village. Collector Pramod Kumar Das, who is slated to visit the affected-village, said the situation is under control after people were provided medicines and advised not to take contaminated water and unhygienic food.