THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the district health administration sought to downplay the number of cholera cases in the coastal areas, top sources in the department, privy to the situation in Puthiyathura and Pulluvila, said more people have been affected by the epidemic.
"At least 12 cholera cases have been confirmed in the region," a source said. The official count stood at two.
On Thursday, around 10 people visited hospitals, complaining of acute diarrhoea. The district health administration has been maintaining that the use of contaminated water caused diarrhoea, and there was no need to panic.
The residents of Puthiyathura and Pulluvila, however, remained under fear, as number of diarrhoea cases increased daily.
After the first two cases were detected, more than 25 cases of acute diarrhoea have been reported till Thursday from these areas. "People here are panic-stricken following reports of wide-spread instances of diarrhoea from the coastal village,'' said a health worker, involved in disease monitoring.
Though the health administration has been trying to dispel fears, it has put in place a round-the-clock surveillance mechanism in the area.
Sources said that the construction of 2,200 toilets in the area led to the present state. The digging for these toilets contaminated the drinking water as many of them were constructed near sources of water.
Residents have been defecating in open spaces, and while digging for constructing toilets, human waste contaminated the drinking water, sources said.