Update: Laboratory tests yesterday confirmed that the contaminated village drinking water had caused diarrhoea in 21 residents of Tokari village in Tsamang, Mongar on June 14.

Of the affected, 12 were children.

Following the confirmation, health assistant, Chanu, visited the village and chlorinated the water tank. He also educated the residents on sanitation practices, drinking boiled water and, hand washing with soap.

He also said that, it was raining when the village was celebrating the kharphu festival. He said the residents could have also drunk the water without washing their hands.

The chlorinated water will last for few days following which another sample will be taken to test its contamination. The water will also be tested when it stops raining. “If the result is the same, then the water source could be contaminated,” Chanu said.

The first case was reported in a three-year-old boy on June 14. After seeing similar cases over the days, Tsamang basic health unit’s health assistant reported the outbreak to the dzongkhag health officer and Mongar regional referral hospital on June 17.

On June 18, a team from the hospital, comprising a doctor, two lab technicians, and the district health officer, visited the households to investigate into the outbreak and collected samples of stool, urine and water for tests.

Chanu said that after their visit, seven more residents visited the BHU. As of yesterday, all patients including those referred to Mongar regional referral hospital have recovered.

By Tashi Phuntsho