A medical team from Gelephu Central Regional Referral hospital (CRRH) visited Khempagang village in Samtenling gewog on December 18 after 30 people from the village fell sick since the evening of December 16.

The people, including children, suffered from diarrhoea, vomiting and fever.

The medical team provided symptomatic treatment.

While the health workers collected water samples from the locality, suspecting water source contamination to be the cause of the illness, some villagers suspect food poisoning, as they attended a birthday function on December 15.

Villagers said that while the food served at the function was fresh, there were vendors who sold fast food during the function. “That food could have been stale and caused food poisoning,” a villager said.

He also said that most people who fell sick had food from the vendors.

The medical superintendent of Gelephu CRRH, Dr Tapas Gurung, said that the hospital has collected water samples and the result should be ready today. “We’ll know the cause only with the test result and it was not a severe illness.”

Meanwhile, a patient, Amber Bahadur Rai, is a civil servant and live away from the village but had come home on December 15.

He said that he and his wife and son fell ill on December 16. “I don’t remember eating any stale food or leftovers; we’re wondering how we fell sick.”

Another villager Ashok Kumar Rai’s two sons fell ill. Both his sons suffered severe diarrhoea and vomiting. They also had mild fever. “However, my other family members are not affected.”

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang