With jaundice spreading in western Odisha town of Sambalpur, Koraput district administration has initiated precautionary measures to check possible outbreak of waterborne diseases. “Everyday we are collecting 10 water samples to examine presence of germs in them which could lead to outbreak of waterborne diseases,” additional district medical officer (ADMO), Koraput, Arun Kumar Padhi, said. “No germ was found in any of the water samples tested so far,” he said

The chances of spread of diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and jaundice are very high if the people consume unhygienic water. According to the ADMO, field staff of the health department have been directed to make people aware of the precautionary measures to be taken to prevent epidemics. “People are being asked to drink boiled water, use water only from tubewells and that supplied by the public health engineering organisation (PHEO). Adequate quantity of halogen tablets have been supplied to PHEO to chlorinate water sources in rural areas,” he said.

The department has urged people to contact the health taff in their respective areas to carry out free chlorination of water bodies. The district administration has also roped in voluntary organisations to sensitise people through street plays in rural areas. The health department has decided to change the damaged drinking water supply pipelines and modernise its water filtration plant at Jeypore at an estimated cost of Rs 2 crore.

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