Haryana Government on Wednesday said that the prima facie inquiry into deaths of seven children due to fever outbreak at two villages- Chilli and Chilla- in Palwal district could be due to the unhygienic conditions and illegal drinking water pipe connections that led to contamination of drinking water.
Additional Chief Secretary, Health Department, Rajeev Arora said that Department’s survey regarding the suspected fever outbreak at villages Chilli and Chilla, SC-Gohpur PHC Uttawar, CHC-Hathin in district Palwal reveals that out of the seven deaths, two deaths were reported to be of children below 5 years of age and five deaths were of children above 5 years of age.
It came to light during the investigations being conducted that the prima facie, probable cause of outbreak could be the unhygienic conditions and illegal drinking water pipe connections that led to contamination of drinking water. However, the final cause of deaths among these children can only be commented upon after completion of epidemiological investigation, he said.
Arora said that information regarding suspected fever deaths among children in villages Chilli and Chilla was received by the District Health Authorities, Palwal and in order to assess the ground situation, district rapid response team was activated by Civil Surgeon, Palwal and sent to the area affected. An epidemiological investigation was ordered in coordination with WHO representative, he added.
He further said that the population of the affected villages Chilli and Chilla is 2947 and 763 respectively. There are 186 households in Chilla village and 72 households in village Chilla. This outbreak started on September 9, 2021.
Divulging more details, he said that the rapid response team visited the affected area on September 12 to investigate the outbreak and household survey was done wherever deaths were reported. Furthermore, as per ongoing epidemiological investigation, house to house active case search for fever cases is being done by the health teams and total 1089 houses have been visited and checked till Tuesday.
Arora said that as per ongoing epidemiological investigation, house to house active case search for fever cases is being done by the health teams. Besides this, all anti larval activities like fogging, water bodies checking etc. are ongoing in the affected area, he added.
Meanwhile, 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, non-reactive 12 dengue ELISA samples, negative reports of 64 RTPCR COVID-19 tests and negative reports of 50 COVID-19 antigen test.
Further elaborating on the probable reason for the fever outbreak, he said that the 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 camp has been set up in the area and cases are being treated symptomatically and referred as per the severity.
Some deaths may be due to pneumonia and gastroenteritis as per records of Nalhad Medical College. The 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, he added.