Diphtheria fear spreads after detection of suspected cases in Koraput & Kandhamal

Swabs of two persons with symptoms have been reportedly collected by the health teams for tests.
Image used for representational purpose only
Image used for representational purpose onlyExpress Illustrations

JEYPORE/BHAWANIPATNA: As the diphtheria epidemic rages in Kashipur block of Rayagada, the fear of the disease has gripped Koraput and Kandhamal after detection of suspected cases in the two neighbouring districts.

While a suspected case of diphtheria has been reported from Kumbhariput village under Bandhugaon in Koraput, at least four children are feared to have been affected by the disease in Thuamul Rampur block of Kalahandi.

Sources said three days back, a 10-year-old boy of Kumbhariput was admitted to SLN Medical College and Hospital, Koraput with high fever. Doctor suspected it to be a case of diphtheria. As the MCH lacks necessary facilities to deal with such cases, the boy was shifted to Rayagada district headquarters hospital (DHH) on Monday. Later, he was shifted to MKCG MCH at Berhampur.

As the news spread, health teams from Koraput and Bandhugaon rushed to Kumbhariput village and launched door-to-door screening to detect suspected cases. Swabs of two persons with symptoms have been reportedly collected by the health teams for tests.

Koraput ADMO NM Satapathy said, “We have already sent the swab samples to the laboratory in Bhubaneswar for further examination. If diphtheria is confirmed, we will start vaccination among people of the affected area.”

Similarly, four children of Surfas village in Kalahandi’s Thuamul Rampur block are suspected to have been affected by the disease. Located inside Indravati reservoir, Surfas is only 2 km away from Munuspadar village of Kashipur block where diphtheria has reportedly claimed the lives of five children and affected 15 others.

After detection of the suspected cases, health teams are visiting households in the village to conduct a survey to find out if there are any more suspected cases.

District public health officer Dr Rakesh Sahu said two ambulances have been sent to bring the four children suspected to be affected by diphtheria, to the DHH at Bhawanipatna. The children will be kept in the isolation ward for treatment. Their blood samples will also be collected and sent for tests.

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