An 11-year-old boy has died and several people have been hospitalised with an intestinal infection in Kerala, the Hindustan Times reported on Monday. The government is carrying out house inspections and medical camps have been set up to deal with the disease.
The infection is caused by the highly-contagious bacteria Shigella. The symptoms of the disease include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, fever and dehydration. Children below the age of 10 are most likely to catch the infection.
Twenty-six cases of diarrhoea have been reported in Kozhikode district, of which six were linked to the bacteria, according to India Today.
Kozhikode District Medical Officer V Jayashree told the news channel that hospitalised patients, including two children, were not in a critical condition. The officer added that 150 people have gone to government medical camp over the last two days.
Jayshree said that the outbreak has been brought under control in the city, The Times of India reported. Meanwhile, a department of the Kozhikode Government Medical College identified contaminated water as the source of the infection in a preliminary report.
Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja said that people living in densely populated areas must drink boiled water. “Everybody must maintain caution and ensure proper hygiene,” she stressed.
The minister added that officials were inspecting houses in the areas affected by the outbreak, according to the Hindustan Times. They have also begun chlorinating wells, collecting food and water samples for testing and inspecting hotels.
The intestinal disease can also spread due to the consumption of stale food and using the same toilet as an infected person.