Andhra floods: Fear of epidemic

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Andhra floods: Fear of epidemic
Vijayawada:  Four districts of Andhra Pradesh could be staring at a possible epidemic. With garbage and carcasses still not cleared in many towns and villages, health officials say the clean-up operation has to take top priority in the flood-affected areas now.

Medical camps in Vijayawada are working overtime. Renuka is at one of the camps with her three-year-old son, Mahesh, who has been running fever with a cold and cough for the last three days.

"Since we were trapped in the waters, he has been down with fever. So we came here to the medical camp," said Renuka.

Most people, particularly children, are reporting either fever or skin infections ever since the floodwaters submerged many parts of Vijayawada city and adjoining areas in Krishna district. The situation is the same in Kurnool, Mahbubnagar and Guntur districts.

"Due to the floods, she has cold, cough and fever," said Nagalaxmi, a flood victim whose daughter is unwell after the floods.

But the greater risk would be once the flood waters recede completely. Nearly 20000 cattle and other animals have died in this tragedy and sanitation workers have been unable to effectively clear off the carcasses, raising fears of an epidemic.

"It would have disturbed the water supply lines which were under water. When we start the water supply, we have to take adequate safety precautions to ensure the drinking water is safe," said P S Pradyumna, Municipal Commissioner, Vijayawada.

The focus now shifts to 'Operation Clean up' to guard against outbreak of any diseases.

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