Kolhapur health department suspect that the consumption of contaminated water of Panchganga river by the people is the cause behind the recent rise in cases of jaundice in Ichalkaranji.
"Since May 15, there have been 3,803 cases of jaundice in the city and so far 12 people have already succumbed to the disease," a health official said.
Ichalkaranji is 40 km from the district headquarters of Kolhapur and 450 km from Mumbai.
On Thursday, the figure of those infected with jaundice stood at 3,300 patients and with 503 new cases in the last four days, the figure has gone to 3,803 patients.
Over 1,500 patients have been treated and discharged since May 15, while over 300 patients are still under medical care in hospitals across the city. Over 70 pregnant women have also been hit with jaundice so far, the official said.
A pregnant lady doctor Deepali Admuthe and a government official, Krishna Chavan had also succumbed to jaundice.
All schools have been declared closed till June 22.
The town gets it water supply from two rivers namely Panchganga and Krishna.
"Water supply from Krishna has been stopped since last two months owing to repair work and we suspect that the contaminated water of Panchganga is the cause of the disease," Dr Harshala Vedak, Kolhapur's district health officer told IANS