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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 133  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 395-400

Rapid situation & response assessment of diarrhoea outbreak in a coastal district following tropical cyclone AILA in India

1 National Institute of Cholera & Enteric Diseases (ICMR), Kolkata, India
2 Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Purbo Medinipur, India
3 Society for Positive Atmosphere & Related Support to HIV/AIDS (SPARSHA), Kolkata, India

Correspondence Address:
Samiran Panda
National Institute of Cholera & Enteric Diseases, ICMR, P-33 CIT Road, Scheme-XM, Beliaghata, Kolkata 700 010, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21537092

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Background & objectives : Cyclone AILA hit Indian States on eastern coast on May 25, 2009. An investigation was conducted to examine if AILA was responsible for increased reporting of diarrhoea cases from the district of East-Medinipur in West Bengal. Identifying causative organisms for diarrhoea and assessing their antibiotic susceptibility profile were other objectives. Methods: Rapid situation and response assessment technique was employed to triangulate primary and secondary data collected through field visits. Prescription audit was also conducted. Results: Significantly increased occurrence of diarrhoea was observed in June 2009 in two subdivisions namely Haldia and Egra (OR 1.6 and 1.3 respectively; 95% CI 1.52-1.65 and 1.21-1.32 P<0.001) considering 2007 as baseline. Vibrio cholerae grew from 54 per cent of the stool samples (21/39; 17 V. cholerae O1-Ogawa and 4 non-O1-non-O139), confirming a community outbreak of cholera. Shigella flexneri 3a was isolated from 5 per cent stool specimens. Increased rate of admission in treatment centres due to diarrhoea in the whole district coincided with the formation of cyclone and showed over two-fold rise compared to the admission recorded 6 days ago. Haldia subdivision had the highest attack rate of 9 per 1000 in the month of June, 2009 whereas for the whole district it was 5 per 1000 in the same month. All the isolates of V. cholerae were resistant to ampicillin and furazolidone and sensitive to norfloxacin and azithromycin. Interpretation & conclusions : Pre-AILA changes in the environment, AILA and seasonality of diarrhoea in the study district interplayed towards increased occurrence of diarrhoea. Continuous tracking of 'seasonality of diarrhoea in the community with vulnerability assessment of potential hosts', 'antibiotic sensitivity profile of the causative microorganisms', and 'prescription practice of physicians' would help appropriate disaster management.

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