KOZHIKODE: With a total of six cholera cases being reported including two confirmed, the health department of the district is on high alert with the origin of the disease being traced to migrant settlements in Thengilakkadavu in Mavoor panchayat. Deputy DMO Dr Jeeja MP who is camping at Thengilakkadavu to monitor the health campaign told DC that all the six suspected cases were reported from a single settlement of Bengali migrants.
“We have started collecting water samples and also conducting medical camps to create awareness on the symptoms among the migrants, coercing them to seek medical aid as soon as possible”, she added. It was suspected that one of the persons admitted recently returned from his native village. “Whether it is of indigenous origin or alien origin can be decided only after the results of water sample tests are received”, she pointed out. Adding to the seriousness, the district has a floating population of about 50,000 migrant workers.
It is for the second time in a decade, cholera has been reported on such a high scale, it was pointed out. Earlier in 2012, six cholera cases were reported in the district and even they were traced to migrants’ residential zones. Going by the data of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) in the district, last year only one cholera case was reported.
Meanwhile, the dengue fever outbreak is still on in the district. So far 6,428 dengue fever cases were reported in the district whereas it was below 1,000 cases last year, according to the IDSP data. Though there was an attempt to issue health cards to the migrant labour community which comes from North Indian states prone to various epidemics, the project was a non starter. The source of malaria, when it was first reported in the district after a long interval in 2010 also was traced to migrants’ settlements.