August 1, 2005 (New Delhi): The Union Health Minister of India, Mr.A.Ramadoss has ruled out the possibility of an epidemic in Mumbai.
"There is no epidemic alert as of now," said the Health Minister categorically. This is despite the fact that the floodwaters are yet to recede in many parts of the city and rain continues to cause misery to the people.
Ramdoss says that the state health machinery is taking due precautions o prevent spread of water borne and other diseases. The ministry has provided the state with medicine and disinfectants.
"A team of experts from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases and the National Institute of Virology has been sent to Mumbai to study the situation," he further said. Currently he said that the Health Ministry was coordinating with the state machinery and had given a list of required material such as DDT powder, chloroquine tablets and bleaching powder.
The best precautions in this situation are to boil the water before drinking and wash feet after wading through the rain water. One of the dangers is of Leptospirosis and this spreads through the urine of rats. Mr.Ramdos ruled out any dangers of this disease.
Further information about Water Borne Disease from medindia
Drinking of water contaminated by human or animal feces, which contains pathogenic microorganisms, causes water borne diseases.
In developing countries four-fifths of all the illness is caused by water-borne diseases, with diarrhea being the leading cause of childhood death.
Floodwaters can carry with it Raw sewage, Silt, Oil or Chemical wastes and cause diarrhea and dysentery.
Infectious diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and protozoa are the most common and wide spread health risk associated with drinking water.
Water Borne diseases and Interactive from Medindia