Chennai: After five cases of cholera, reported at the Nandanam branch of Apollo Hospitals, were believed to be due to the consumption of outside food, a new case of the disease at Greams Road branch of the same hospital has left the authorities confused about the cause of the outbreak.
Civic authorities and the food safety department had earlier denied the presence of contaminants outside the premises of the Nandanam hospital after five cases of cholera tested positive at the hospital.
The Apollo hospitals in Nandanam had reported five cases of cholera last week and informed Greater Chennai Corporation .
The civic authorities had reported that as there were no cases outside the hospital premises and the food and water samples from the hospital canteen did not contain contaminants, the infection may have been due to outside food consumed by the patients. However, a fresh case of cholera was reported from a different branch of the hospital on Saturday. The food safety department and the civic authorities have yet to come to any conclusion on the cause of the outbreak.
Designated food safety officer R. Kathiravan, who had taken food samples from hospitals and hotels, denied any outbreak in other parts of the city.
“The samples from outside the premises and surrounding areas did not contain any contaminants and cases have been reported only in the hospital premises. The reason for the new case in another branch of the hospital is not known,” he said.
The hospital authorities at Nandanam have taken emergency measures to prevent the spread of the disease, but remained unresponsive when asked about the cause of the outbreak.
Civic authorities, along with food safety department, have intensified the monitoring and evaluation of collected samples Health education department has also intensified its measures on educating people about the causes for the disease and preventive measures.“Health awareness programmes at educational institutions and public places by the department would focus on prevention of the disease, demonstration of proper hand-washing and risk factors of waterborne diseases so that the disease can be reported earlier,” said the health education officer, Dr T.G. Srinivasan.