Hyderabad is reporting a spike in water-borne diseases, sparking fears of water contamination.
Diarrhoeal disease, viral hepatitis, and typhoid have all been reported in the Telangana state capital. At the time of writing, 16,178 people have fallen ill with diarrhoea and 1,301 are afflicted with typhoid fever. Viral hepatitis, meanwhile, is believed to have affected more than seventy.
Officials are pointing the finger at open drainage and waterlogging, the latter being a common side effect of the monsoon season in the city. As noted by The News Minute, “Hyderabad continues to witness massive traffic jams on a regular basis even for small spells of rain. Rainwater stagnates on the road during peak hours with gutters overflowing.” A health department official identified “waterlogging, poorly fitted manholes and rusting drinking water pipelines” as being among the contributing factors behind water contamination. Seventy percent of the drinking water supply in India is contaminated, spotlighting infrastructural failings in need of rectification.
At the outset of the monsoon in the city, officials noted a spike in vector- and water-borne diseases including chikungunya, dengue fever, malaria, and typhoid. At the time, Dr K. Shankar, superintendent of the Government Fever Hospital in the city, warned that cases were likely to increase until September. “Seasonal ailments are bound to rise during monsoons and individual families must take necessary precautions,” he said.
Numerous states have witnessed flooding during this year’s monsoon season, including in Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, and Rajasthan, as well as the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. This carries the potential for vector- and water-borne diseases to spread, making it imperative that officials are vigilant and ensure that medicines are provided and mosquito populations are monitored and controlled. Screening for diseases is also important, especially for the 655,000 displaced persons sheltered in relief camps across Assam, Bihar, Karnatak, and Kerala, as the close confines there carry the potential for diseases to be transmitted rapidly from person to person.