Cholera hits east Indian state

Scores die in outbreak after Orissa suffers one of its worst-ever monsoon seasons.

    The cholera outbreak follows one of India's
    worst-ever monsoon seasons[File: AFP] 

    "Even if doctors are posted, they don't stay for long. There are no doctors in Dasmantapur hospital, doctors from other areas have to come here."  

    The health control room in Bhubaneswar, set up to monitor the outbreak of the disease, said more than 6,000 people were being treated for cholera and dysentery.

    'No epidemic'

    But officials have insisted that the situation is under control.


    "We have no epidemic," Chiny Basu, Orissa state health secretary, said in Bhubaneswar, the state capital.

    "It is the complacency of the government that has led to the situation"

    JB Patnayak,
    opposition leader

    The state opposition has demanded that the government resign over the situation and has suggested around 500 people have died, a much higher death toll than the official figures.

    "It is the complacency of the government that has led to the situation," J.B. Patnayak, an opposition Congress leader, said.


    "This is an epidemic."

    The state has sent more doctors to the worst affected areas in an attempt to bring the outbreak under control.


    "The administration is taking every possible step to counter cholera," Naveen Patnaik, Orissa state chief minister, said on Wednesday.

    The victims contracted the illness from drinking dirty water and contaminated food, officials said.


    Cholera causes severe diaorrhea, which leads to dehydration that can cause death if not treated quickly.


    The cholera outbreak erupted last week in the districts of Rayagada and Koraput, 500km southwest of Bhubaneswar, and has spread to Kalahandi and Gajapati districts, officials said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and Agencies


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