Updated April 2nd, 2024 at 16:37 IST

Cholera Cases Surge by 40% in Bengaluru Amidst Water Crisis

Bengaluru: Cholera cases escalated to seven cases in less than two weeks, indicating a significant spike in the prevalence of this waterborne disease.

Reported by: Isha Bhandari
Cholera Cases Surge by 40% in Bengaluru Amidst Water Crisis | Image:Shutterstock
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Bengaluru: As heat waves scorch Bengaluru and a water crisis grips the city, cases of cholera have surged by a staggering 40%, alarming both government and private hospitals. What was once an occasional occurrence in Bengaluru has now become a concerning trend, with private hospitals reporting a sharp increase in cholera cases, particularly in the past few weeks of March.

Previously, private hospitals in the city typically recorded one or two cases of cholera in a month. 

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However, this has escalated to six to seven cases in less than two weeks, indicating a significant spike in the prevalence of this waterborne disease.

Consumption of contaminated water and food from small eateries 

Health experts attribute the rise in cholera cases to the consumption of contaminated water and food from small eateries, exacerbated by the severe water shortage plaguing Bengaluru. 

Dr. Ramesh GH, Head of Emergency and Intensive Care Unit at Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, highlighted the consumption of street food like "panipuri" and juice as potential culprits for spreading the disease.

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"Contamination of drinking water is another significant factor," Dr. Ramesh emphasized, noting that cholera symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, can lead to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances in the body. 

Consequences of cholera can be dire 

The consequences of cholera can be dire, with dehydration potentially affecting the kidneys and even leading to fatalities.

Dr. Chetan Ginigeri, lead consultant in Paediatrics at Aster CMI Hospital, echoed concerns about the rising number of cholera cases seen in their facility. 

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He stressed the importance of preventive measures, including access to clean and safe drinking water, sanitation improvements, vaccination campaigns in high-risk areas, and promoting good hygiene practices.

Disposable cutlery, wet wipes, WFH - creative measures to fight scarcity

Amid the ongoing water crisis in Bengaluru, authorities and communities have churned out innovative ways to save water. Here are some of the ways in which Bengaluru residents and the authorities are aiming to save water amid the water crisis.

Remote or WFH for Water Conservation 

Bengaluru is full of IT professionals, who are requesting for the adoption of remote work or the work-from-home (WFH) system. With WFH, many people will travel back home, thus reducing the water demand in the city.

Wet Wipes

In order to minimise the water usage for hand and face washing, people are opting for wet wipes.

Disposable Cutlery

Households are resorting to using disposable cutlery for consuming food, which need not be washed.

Milk Tankers

The Karnataka government is using milk tankers from the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) to supply water.

Ban on Car Washing and Gardening

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) on March 7 banned the use of potable water for washing, gardening, construction, water fountains and road maintenance. Violations may generate a fine of Rs 5,000.

Security Check on Water Misuse

A building society Whitefield has stationed security personnel to keep an eye on water misuse, with a fine for households that do not decrease water consumption by 20 percent amid the shortage.

Treated Water for Drying Lakes

In order to replenish drying lakes, civic authorities have planned to fill it with treated water. This aims to address the decreasing groundwater levels. The process will involve the installation of filter borewells and constructing water plants near restored lake beds. 

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Published April 2nd, 2024 at 16:37 IST