Four lady inmates suffering schizophrenia at Institute of Mental Health (IMH) in Chennai died after being admitted to the Communicable Diseases Hospital on Friday. The deaths happened within a few hours of each other; therefore investigations are on to ascertain the cause of death.
They were admitted to ward number 16 on 28th November, 2008 a little past midnight, officials said. The cause of the death is still to be confirmed, yet health officials think it could be a case of water contamination.
The bodies of the dead have been sent to the Government General Hospital for a post-mortem. The results are expected in 2 days.
Health secretary V K Subburaj, pointed towards a case of water contamination caused by an open drain that might have led to mixing of sewage water and rain water. The patients may not have been cautious of the water they drank, and this may have caused their illness.
Prophylactic antibiotics have been administered to all other patients at IMH. Sanitation operation is on in the wards to ensure the well-being of other inmates.