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Diarrhoea outbreak at alarming state

Contaminated water blamed

Published : 03 Apr 2022 10:54 PM | Updated : 04 Apr 2022 02:12 PM

The early diarrhea outbreak in the capital since mid-March has already reached an alarming state.

Moreover, About 23 percent of all the diarrhea patients were found to be infected with the bacteria of cholera, according to the data of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) from March 8 to 15.

Experts are saying that along with the carelessness in terms of eating and drinking street food, contaminated water is responsible for the surge in diarrhea cases.

Many patients blamed the water problems in their area which has been a long-standing issue and requires immediate attention. 

Sharifa Aktar, whose daughter is being treated in icddr,b said that they do not boil the water and drink directly from the tap. 

While talking to the correspondent she further mentioned that the water in their area stinks and is of yellowish-green color. 

Most of the patients coming to the hospital in a severely dehydrated state from the capital’s Mirpur, Uttar Badda, Jattrabari and Dakshinkhan. 

The doctors and nurses have been struggling to cope with such a huge number of patients. 

Usually an average of 300-350 patients are provided with the treatment in icddr,b. Since the first week of March the number of patients coming to the hospital has surpassed 1000. 

On Saturday till 2 pm 1,274 patients were admitted in the hospital which dropped to half in 24 hrs on Sunday, according to hospital data. 

However, the decline in the number of patients is not consistent. The number might shoot up to 1000 again tomorrow, said Dr Baharul Alam, chief of the icddr,b hospital.

While talking to the Bangladesh Post, he suggested drinking safe water, avoiding street food and washing hands frequently to stay safe.

Dr ASM Alamgir, Principal Scientific Officer of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) told the Bangladesh Post that every year the number of diarrhea patients increases with the advent of summer.

“However, this year the outbreak occurred a little earlier affecting a much higher number of people compared to previous years. During this time of the year, the water level goes down and the pressure often causes cross-contamination of the water supply system with sewage lines. Drinking this water without boiling could lead to dangerous consequences,” he said.

He further said that due to the increasing heat people have started quenching their thirst with drinks sold beside the streets. 

Foods also get rotten within a short time nowadays due to the heat, he added.

It may be mentioned that in 2019, water samples were collected for testing from different areas of Dhaka where water was supplied by the Wasa. Later the presence of harmful bacteria was detected in the water.

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