School closes for 20 days after viral fever spreads

MUSSOORIE: The rise in the cases of viral fever has alarmed the people and district authorities in Mussoorie.

editorial@tribune.com

Tribune News Service

Mussoorie, August 18

The rise in the cases of viral fever has alarmed the people and district authorities in Mussoorie. The prestigious St George’s College has been closed till September 4 as a large number of viral fever and typhoid cases have been reported from the school for the past few days. Typhoid is a water-borne disease that is known to spread during monsoon in hilly districts.

St George’s College senior co-coordinator John Nanda said the school had witnessed some cases of viral fever. Being predominantly a boarding school, the management has closed the institution for 20 days to curb the spread of the disease among students, he said.

Nanda said the half yearly exams of the students are scheduled to begin from September 5. “The school has been closed from August 15. Parents have been asked to take their children back to their home so that the students can prepare for exams at their homes. The parents have agreed as this is in the interest of their children. The school has its own water cleaning system and the water supplied to the school is tested regularly. The school would clean its water storage tanks once again during the holidays,” he said, adding that the students go on outing to the town and it is possible they might have come in contact with the disease.

Dr Sandeep Tandon, Medial Superintendent of the Civil Hospital, said, rise in the cases of viral fever and typhoid was witnessed every monsoon. “People should ensure that the water they consume is clean and without any infectious bacteria content,” he said.

Dr Tandon said the hospital had received no such information about the spread of typhoid at St George’s College. “We can’t carry out any preventive exercise in any school until we are informed,” he added.

Social activist Dr Sunil Sanon, former doctor at St Mary’s Hospital in Mussoorie, said, “Besides sanitising water, food handlers in the mess should also be monitored and vaccinated. Typhoid is a waterborne disease. The town in the past had an Infective Disease Hospital (IDH) where patients of communicable disease, such as Measles, used to be quarantined but the building has been converted into a housing society for poor, thus showing abysmal concern towards the disease that can easily turn into an epidemic,” he said.

Dehradun Chief Medical Officer Dr YS Thapliyal said he had asked medical officials in Mussoorie to collect water samples from the school for lab test. He said that the Widal test for typhoid cases does not have 100 per cent authenticity. “There is another test, known as S Typhi, which is not available in Mussoorie,” he added.

Meanwhile, Jal Santhan Executive Engineer VK Saini said had there been something wrong with the water supply, the cases of water-borne disease would have surfaced in other schools too.

Residents of the town said health cards of every student should be deposited with the civil hospital so that the monitoring at the government level can be done on regular basis to avoid the spread of communicable diseases.

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