Cholera outbreak hits private care home in Kerala, Health Dept steps up preventive measures

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 9 (PTI) An outbreak of cholera has been reported at a private care home in Neyyattinkara in this south Kerala district, prompting the state Health Department to strengthen preventive measures to curtail the spread of the disease.

State Health Minister Veena George said on Tuesday that preventive measures were intensified in the Neyyattinkara area after some inhabitants of the private care home sought treatment at the hospital with cholera symptoms.

Following the minister's direction, the Additional Director of Health Services visited the site and assessed the situation.

"Initially, the care home residents suspected food poisoning. However, when the disease was reported, the Medical Officer of Perumpazhuthoor Primary Health Centre immediately responded and took necessary measures. Samples, including water, have been sent for examination to identify the source of the disease," according to a release from the health department.

The health minister has directed that samples from those showing symptoms be sent for testing as soon as possible.

Facilities have been arranged at the Iranimuttom hospital's isolation ward to treat cholera patients.

The release said some care home residents have returned to their homes and will be monitored. If they or their family members show symptoms, their samples will be tested and treatment will be ensured.

Some children in a school attached to the institution have also shown cholera symptoms and will receive expert care. Preventive measures have been put in place in the school as well, the release said.

The health department emphasised that awareness is crucial for preventing cholera.

"If symptoms like severe diarrhoea, vomiting, or dehydration occur, immediate medical attention is necessary. Effective antibiotics are available to treat cholera, a highly contagious disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae," it said.

If left untreated, it can spread rapidly. Even if symptoms subside, the patient can still transmit the disease for several days, the health department release cautioned.

The disease typically spreads through contaminated water and food. The bacteria can enter the body and cause the disease within a few hours to five days, it added. PTI TGB TGB ANE