As many as 26 students of St Anne’s Hostel in Katpadi have been diagnosed with diarrhoea and have been admitted to the nearby Vellore Government Medical College Hospital for treatment.
The students are between 5 and 14 years of age, of St Joseph’s High School in Katpadi, some 15 km from Vellore. Joint director of health services, (Primary Healthcare Centre), Somasundaram, said the students who had bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting have been admitted to the hospital since Wednesday morning and were being treated for moderate dehydration. “All the students are out of danger,” he added.
He further added that the outbreak of acute diarrhoea was restricted to only a small group of hostel inmates. The day-scholars were not found to be affected. It is suspected that the source of infection could be water from a deep bore well that was being supplied to the hostel students.
The hostel also received water from a tank, water for which was sourced by the local body, and those who drank it were, however, unaffected.
Stool samples were being analysed in the lab at the Vellore GH and the results were expected soon, he added.
The officials attached to the public health services led by the deputy director of health services, Poonkodi, are taking preventive measures. She said the water supply from the bore well at the hostel has been suspended and alternate arrangements have been made to supply protected water through the Rural Development Department.
The overhead tanks in the school and the village have been cleaned. The remaining hostel inmates and the adjoining residential area in the village were also being monitored.
The medical team had also distributed antibiotics and oral rehydration solutions to the students, staff and the residents of the village as a precautionary measure.