A woman has died and at least 20 were rushed to hospital with symptoms of gastroenteritis in the southern Indian city of Bangalore on Sunday following suspected water contamination.
This has set in panic among the residents, forcing the water supply authorities to stop piped water supply and call in water tankers.
50-year-old Rekha complained of fatigue and dehydration on Saturday evening. Her son Karthik said: "We took her to a clinic where doctors administered her medicines. She came back home, but continued to suffer irregular bowel movements. When we're rushing her to the clinic around 8.30 am on Sunday, she collapsed and died."
The family is convinced Rekha died only of water contamination, but authorities would not commit themselves on the issue.
"We've been supplying chlorinated water, and there's little possibility that water can be contaminated. However, we've stopped piped water supply and brought in water tankers as a precautionary measure," they said.
Interestingly a health official admitted examining at least 12 patients on Sunday, but denied reports of death. "We suspect water contamination. Water samples have been taken for testing. The patients were suffering from fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and dysentery. Four patients were in Popular Clinic, five in GM Healthcare and three at Thimmaiah Road Maternity Hospital. The condition of the patients has stabilised," he added.
Dr Murali Krishna of GM Healthcare said all eight patients showed gastroenteritis symptoms. "Patients admitted on Saturday night are stable. We're administering intravenous fluids and antibiotics to patients who got admitted on Sunday. They will be discharged in a day or two."
Dr Ananth of Popular Clinic said four patients were recovering and a like number were still being treated.