Fever deaths among children in Haryana’s Palwal may be due to contamination of drinking water: Survey

Recently, the district recorded deaths of seven children, including two kids below five years of age, at Chilli and Chilla villages.

The Haryana Health Department’s survey on the suspected outbreak of fever at Palwal district, which led to the death of seven children, said the “probable cause of outbreak could be the unhygienic conditions and illegal drinking water pipe connections that led to contamination of drinking water.”

Recently, the district recorded deaths of seven children, including two kids below five years of age, at Chilli and Chilla villages. The health department also added that “the final cause of death among these children can only be commented upon after completion of an Epidemiological Investigation”.

Additional Chief Secretary (Health), Rajeev Arora said, “Information regarding suspected fever deaths among children in village Chilli and Chilla was received by the district health authorities and in order to assess the ground situation, the district Rapid Response Team was activated by the civil surgeon and sent to the affected area. An Epidemiological Investigation was ordered in coordination with the World Health Organisation. Chilli & Chilla house 2,947 and 763 people, with a total of 186 and 72 households, respectively. This outbreak started on September 9.”

Arora added, “The Rapid Response Team visited the affected areas on September 12 to investigate the outbreak and a household survey was done wherever deaths were reported. Furthermore, as per ongoing Epidemiological Investigation, house to house search for fever cases is being carried out by the teams and a total of 1,089 houses have been visited and checked till Tuesday. Anti-larvae activities like fogging, water body checking and others are on. As per the laboratory findings of the area, there are all negative reports of 175 malaria blood slides, negative reports of 250 RDT malaria test reports, 12 non-reactive dengue Elisa samples, negative reports of 64 RT-PCR Covid-19 tests and negative reports of 50 Covid-19 Antigen tests.”

Elaborating on the probable reason for the outbreak, Arora said, “officials found a leakage in the pipeline of drinking water and Public Health officers have been instructed to repair it at the earliest. Temporary medical camps have been set up in the area and cases are being treated symptomatically and referred as per severity. Final cause of deaths among the children can only be commented upon after completion of an Epidemiological Investigation but prima facie, the probable cause of outbreak could be the unhygienic conditions and illegal drinking water pipe connections that led to contamination of drinking water. Some deaths may be due to pneumonia and gastroenteritis as per records of Nalhad Medical College.”

“Health Department is putting all possible efforts to control the situation in the affected area and as on date, the situation is under control. We are keeping a strict vigil on the situation,” Arora said.

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