Twenty-four people in two pockets of the state capital are suffering from jaundice, official sources confirmed on Thursday. Jharana basti, a slum in ward no. 53 where chief minister Naveen Patnaik's residence (Naveen Niwas) is located, reported the maximum number of 18 cases.
Director (Public Health) Dr Kailash Das said polluted water from a dead canal (Daya West) seems to have contaminated the drinking water sources, mostly borewells in the slum. There are several cattlesheds around the canal.
Das said after report of spurt in the number of fever cases, a team of public health professionals on Thursday visited the slum. Blood samples of the affected persons will be tested for confirmation of the disease though 18 of them were clinically found to be suffering from jaundice. People were advised not to use the borewell water for the time being, he said. Water samples will also be tested, he said.
In Damana village, the six cases were reported in the past two to three days. Open defecation near water sources and absence of drainage facilities were found to be main reason for jaundice in the area, Das said.
Mayor Anant Narayan Jena said all efforts are being made to contain further spread of the disease. Halogen tablets were distributed in the affected areas. To ensure safe drinking water, tankers were being pressed into service as a short-term measure. Information, education, communication (IEC) activities will be undertaken in a massive way for better public awareness, he said.