Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mass Hysteria over Sickness in City Schools

Mass Hysteria over Sickness in City Schools
Students Discharged after Screening and Observation at GB Pant Hospital

Today, GB Pant Hospital was flooded with hundreds of school children complaining of fever, vomiting sensation and in a few cases loose motion. Around 80 students were detained and kept under observation. 
“All the detained students have been sent home after check up and observation, as there is nothing to worry,” Dr Paul, Director, Health Services informed. “Only five students who still suffer from vomiting and high fever have been detained and kept under observation.
Meanwhile, DHS also assured all support to the parents and informed them to contact the Centralized Ambulance Service by dialling 102 in case of any emergency.
Around 9.30 am today, a few students of Govt Middle School, Junglighat who complained of sickness were evacuated to GB Pant Hospital. Soon, many more students started complaining of sickness after mid-day meals were served. Simultaneously, a few students from GDMS, Middle Point also developed similar symptoms. The school authorities immediately called the ambulance services and started shifting students to the hospital.
Prompt action by a team of Doctors and Specialists helped contain the situation.
The authorities informed that the causes of the sickness are yet to be ascertained. Speaking to LOA, a senior specialist from GB Pant Hospital informed that one single cause cannot be attributed as students have reported various reasons. 
The possible reasons as reported by the students and parents could be DPT vaccination and iron tablets administered to the children in the school. However, ANI Admn in a communication informed that over 200 children had received the vaccination and only 13 such children reported fever.
Parents of children also alleged food poisoning as also one of the possible reasons. Meanwhile, doctors said that viral fever due to inclement weather conditions cannot be ruled out. 
Earlier, a situation report issued by the Deputy Commissioner, South Andaman, said that there was heavy flow of children as parents who had picked their children from school were also bringing them to hospital for medical screening. However, there was nothing to panic and their condition were found to be out of danger,” he said.
The hospital authorities acted promptly and made arrangements for a makeshift ward for the affected children. Rina Ray, Chief Secretary (i/c) visited the hospital and took stock of the situation. 
V K Maryam Bibi, Adhyaksha, ZP, SA had also volunteered to visit the concerned school, District Control Room and extended all cooperation to bring the situation to normalcy.
As a precautionary measure samples of food and water have been lifted from the schools which will be sent for testing in the Food Laboratory at mainland. The Chief Secretary has also directed the Sub-Divisional Magistrate to conduct an inquiry into this incident. 
“Food samples of mid-day meal, water samples etc. have been collected and are being sent for testing in Chennai in the absence of Food Testing Lab in the Islands. We are looking into all possibilities and trying to find out the reason,” Dr Paul said.

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