THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Puthiyathura is fast becoming the epicenter of a cholera epidemic with two more fresh cases being reported. With this, the total number of cases reported from the region has risen to four. All the victims are children.
The district health administration has issued an alert along the coastal belt as there is a possibility of the disease spreading fast. The unhygienic conditions prevailing in the area are a cause for concern for the district medical administration. A medical team camping in the area is conducting day to day monitoring and spreading awareness on the need for ensuring personal hygiene.
The two cases confirmed on Monday were the children who were earlier suspected to have the disease. The doctors camping in the region said that more number of cholera cases cannot be ruled out since many people from the region have reportedly been showing symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea. "Lack of pure drinking water is a major issue. We have advised them to use only boiled water,'' said district medical officer (DMO) Dr T Peethambaran.
However, the doctors said that the cholera virus detected there are not dangerous. "The causative agent of cholera here has been detected as eltor virus which is less harmful,'' said the DMO. This virus spreads through contaminated water. Hence, the people here have been advised to clean their hands with soap before taking food and also after daily chores.Of course cholera is not caused by a virus; I assume the reporter doesn't know the difference. I also assume that "eltor virus" is a mishearing of "El Tor," the same strain afflicting Haiti. Why the district medical officer would say it's "less harmful" is beyond me.