Diarrhoeal disease outbreak in a rural area of Karnataka
Background: Acute diarrhoea is the passage of 3 or more loose or watery stools in the past 24 hours with or without dehydration. Owing to WASH strategy (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) the burden of diarrheal diseases has seen a tremendous decline over the past 2 decades. Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae. Objectives: 1. To document the factors responsible for the outbreak. 2. To provide recommendations for prevention and control of such outbreaks in future. Methods: After receiving verbal information from district office regarding outbreak of diarrhoeal disease (cholera) in a town of Bijapur district, we independently conducted a cross sectional study in the affected area and collected information regarding no. of people affected since the outbreak, their age and sex distribution. A total of 3802 people were interviewed using a predesigned questionnaire on 28th and 29th July, 2012. We also conducted environmental investigation regarding the source of contamination and collected 2 water samples from drinking water source. Results: All the cases were clustered in the five streets, which were consuming water from contaminated two water tanks. A total of 121 cases of diarrhoea were identified affecting 3.18% of the population. Attack rate of cholera was highest (4.5%) in 25-34 years age group followed by 4.22% in 15-24 years age group. Attack rates was higher among females (3.4%) compared to males (2.9%). Laboratory report stated that water samples were unfit for drinking purpose. V. Cholera (Ogawa serotype) was isolated from water sample. Conclusion: Consumption of contaminated water from a newly dug bore-well had led to the diarrhea outbreak. Lack of sanitation and hygiene had worsened the situation.