Panicked Podia Ashram School Students Leave Hostel

By Express press service

MALKANGIRI: With the illness that resulted in the death of two students at an ashram school in Podia block of Malkangiri district still a mystery, student boarders have left the residential institution hostel. In a state of panic after the outbreak of the unknown illness, all 182 inmates at the facility’s hostel went home.

Health officials suspect the hostel‘s unsanitary conditions and consumption of fungus-infected rice were the cause of the deaths. A team of doctors including specialists in medicine, microbiology and pediatrics as well as a food safety officer visited the Kolaganda Ashram school hostel on Wednesday to determine the cause of the illness which allegedly claimed the lives in class VII Pradeep Musaki and class VIII Santu Kurami. .

Following the visit, Dr Budhikeswar Majhi of the Podia Community Health Center (CHC), who had cared for Pradeep and Santu, said the inmates, according to the team, were residing in unsanitary conditions and that the rice served to them was infected with fungus.

Dr. Majhi told TNIE that Pradeep and Santu were admitted to hospital last week. They were given medication and their blood samples were sent for testing.

The team also visited Santu’s home village of Pujariguda in Semilibanchha gram panchayat of Podia block. He fell ill again after returning from the hospital. But his parents, the team learned, took him to a charlatan. The boy died on August 29.

Meanwhile, the 10 students who were admitted to Podia CHC after complaining of similar symptoms were released on Thursday. Dr Majhi said he advised teachers to keep in touch with the parents of sick students.

“Once students go to their villages, their parents may not go to hospital if their wards develop symptoms,” he said.

CDMO Praful Kumar Nanda said that samples including water and food from the hostel have been sent to a lab for testing and it will take at least 7-8 days to get the report after which the cause of death can be determined. He said it could be a case of food poisoning as all of the inmates tested negative for Japanese encephalitis, Covid-19, malaria and dengue fever.

MALKANGIRI: With the illness that resulted in the death of two students at an ashram school in Podia block of Malkangiri district still a mystery, student boarders have left the residential institution hostel. In a state of panic after the outbreak of the unknown illness, all 182 inmates at the facility’s hostel went home. Health officials suspect the hostel’s unsanitary conditions and consumption of fungus-infected rice were the cause of the deaths. A team of doctors including specialists in medicine, microbiology and pediatrics as well as a food safety officer visited the Kolaganda Ashram school hostel on Wednesday to determine the cause of the illness which allegedly claimed the lives in class VII Pradeep Musaki and class VIII Santu Kurami. . Following the visit, Dr Budhikeswar Majhi of the Podia Community Health Center (CHC), who had cared for Pradeep and Santu, said the inmates, according to the team, were residing in unsanitary conditions and that the rice served to them was infected with fungus. Dr. Majhi told TNIE that Pradeep and Santu were admitted to hospital last week. They were given medication and their blood samples were sent for testing. The team also visited Santu’s home village of Pujariguda in Semilibanchha gram panchayat of Podia block. He fell ill again after returning from the hospital. But his parents, the team learned, took him to a charlatan. The boy died on August 29. Meanwhile, the 10 students who were admitted to Podia CHC after complaining of similar symptoms were released on Thursday. Dr Majhi said he advised teachers to keep in touch with the parents of sick students. “Once students go to their villages, their parents may not go to hospital if their wards develop symptoms,” he said. CDMO Praful Kumar Nanda said that samples including water and food from the hostel have been sent to a lab for testing and it will take at least 7-8 days to get the report after which the cause of death can be determined. He said it could be a case of food poisoning as all of the inmates tested negative for Japanese encephalitis, Covid-19, malaria and dengue fever.

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