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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cholera in the times of Kashmir unrest

Via Hindustan Times :

" A major cholera epidemic in Kashmir was wrapped under the carpet due to ongoing civil unrest, protests and violence. Unattended contaminated water sources have affected more than 2,000 people and left one woman dead. The alarmed authorities on Monday seek public support to seize the

The cholera outbreak started in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, just 30 km away from Srinagar after incessant rains and cloudburst left many cattle dead and changed course of water of tributaries in the last week of August.

The main source of drinking water, Sukhnar stream, in Beerwah’s Arizaal area, was contaminated and later led to contamination of the Public Health Engineering’s (PHE) water sources, which remained unattended for many days.

“This year, Kashmir witnessed unprecedented monsoon and there were heavy rainfall for the last three months. There is presence of nomads and security forces in upper reaches in Budgam. They defecate in open and rains brought that down into water sources. This led to cholera,” said PHE chief engineer Ghulam Rasool Zargar.

A government sub-hospital in Beerwah treated patients in corridors and alleys of the building due to heavy rush of patients. “Since August 28, at least 2,108 patients have been diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis. They were treated in 23 health stations functional round-the-clock,” said Budgam chief medical officer Dr Mohammad Abdullah."

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