Bhawanipatna: Dengue has assumed epidemic proportion at villages under Ladugaon panchayat in Koksara block of Kalahandi district.
The health department on Monday confirmed that 44 persons had tested positive for the vector-borne disease. With the number of cases increasing with each passing day, the department has launched a drive to detect and contain spreading of the disease. While most of the patients are being treated at village health centres, eight have been admitted at district headquarters hospital in Bhawanipatna.
Kalahandi district collector Parag Harshad Gavali, Kalahandi CDMO Dr Saroj Tiadi, and Dharmagarh MLA Pushpendra Singhdeo visited the villages of Ladugaon panchayat to take stock of the situation.
The department had received 218 blood samples following the first case of dengue in Ladugaon six days ago. In the first phase, out of the 100 samples, 18 were tested positive which has jumped to 44 on Monday.
Health officials have attributed the cause of the disease to sanitation issues, which is in a pathetic state at the villages. “Sanitation services has completely broken down at these villages as the panchayat is totally indifferent to the unhygienic conditions that prevails due to poor drainage and lack of cleaning works,” said a Ladugaon villager.
He further said there were at least 12 rice mills near the villages and the water released from there create the sanitation issues. “Water discharged from these rice mills near the village gets clogged near the village canals leading to breeding of dengue mosquitoes in the stagnant water,” he said.
Tiadi said it would take some time for the situation to return to normality.
Dharmagarh sub-collector Padmanava Behera admitted that the sanitation at the villages was in a shambles. “The panchayat has been asked to take up the sanitation work immediately. There is no dearth of funds for this,” Behera said.