Public Health Director advises to wear masks as Diphtheria spreading tentacles in 3 districts of Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Public Health Director Nilakantha Mishra today advised people especially, the residents of three districts – Koraput, Kalahandi and Rayagada to wear masks as Diphtheria has started to spread tentacles in these districts.

The Public Health Director informed that till date, as many as 21 cases of Diphtheria have been detected from Koraput, Kalahandi and Rayagada districts. While five people have died so far, the health condition of another infected person is stated to be critical, he said.

Out of the total 21 Diphtheria cases, 15 cases were reported from Rayagada district alone while one person, a native of Bandhugaon village in Koraput was infected with the virus. Likewise, 4-5 cases have been detected from Kalahandi district.

The samples of the affected persons have been sent to the district headquarters hospitals and Regional Medical Research Center (RMRC) in Bhubaneswar for examination, said the Public Health Director adding that a special team of doctors are monitoring the situations. Besides, the health officials of the three districts along with a WHO team have been taking stock of the situation by visiting each infected villages of the tree districts.

People need not to get panic as anti-diphtheria serums have been brought from Agra and Hyderabad and being administered to the infected persons, he said.

“Though the further spread of the diphtheria can be checked through antibiotics, the people of the infected districts are advised to wear masks as it spreads through air. Besides, the people should develop the habit of washing hands frequently. An order in this regard has been issued to the concerned district collectors,” he added.

Meanwhile, Salini Pandit, the Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Department today directed Rayagada district Collector to take appropriate action for containment of outbreak of Diphtheria in Manushpadar village of Kashipur Block.

In a letter, she directed the Collector to take measures to control the further spread of disease among vulnerable population.

Daily surveillance activity for early detection fever with sore throat cases to be continued in Manushpur village as well as neighbouring villages/blocks. Any clinically suspected case to be referred to DHH, Rayagada for early initiation of treatment. Daily surveillance activity to be continued for about 20 days after detection of last case (i,e, double the Incubation period) in the block.

Adequate Healthcare workers and Supervisors to be engaged for carrying out surveillance activity for early detection of suspected cases for treatment and referral.

Containment measures to be continued to minimize spread of disease to neighboring villages. The in and out migration from Mahushpadar village to be restricted.

Micro plan to be prepared for rapid assessment of vaccination coverage in Manushpadar village as well as other hard to reach villages in Kashipur block and subsequently, integrated camps to be conducted for vaccination of all leftout/dropout children as per National immunrzation schedule and also to provide other essential health services.

Adequate medicines & vaccines to be made available at block to meet any exigency. Inter-departmental convergence meeting at block & district level to be continued every day for containment of the outbreak.

Daily surveillance report and vaccination coverage report to be submitted to State Surveillance unit as well as Directorate of Family Welfare.

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