Investigation Underway After Over 340 Residents Fall Ill In Kochi Apartment Due To Food Poisoning

All affected residents are thankfully in stable condition.

by Nikitha Sebastian
Investigation Underway After Over 340 Residents Fall Ill In Kochi Apartment Due To Food Poisoning

An apartment complex in Kochi is reeling from a severe food poisoning outbreak that has affected around 340 residents, including children. The health department has been battling to contain the situation since early June, with initial reports suggesting E. coli bacteria in the drinking water might be the culprit.

Food Poisoning Outbreak In Kochi Apartment Complex

Image Courtesy: Canva (Representative Image)

All affected residents are thankfully in stable condition. However, health officials are in a race against time to identify the exact source of the outbreak. Health officials collected water samples and sent them for analysis. The investigation is facing hurdles due to the complex’s reliance on various water sources. The complex uses a mix of Kerala Water Authority supply, well water, borewells, and even rainwater. This makes it a challenge to pinpoint the contamination point.

As a precaution, the apartment complex has completely switched to using tanker water to eliminate potential contamination. Kerala Health Minister Veena George, in a statement to SouthFirst, has vowed to take strong action to prevent similar outbreaks in the future. The Kerala Public Health Act will be used to enforce interventions to prevent similar outbreaks. Minister George revealed she received notification of the outbreak on June 17.  Immediately a dedicated health department team was dispatched to collect water samples.

Also Read: Tamil Nadu: 82 Students Suffer From Food Poisoning After Eating Food At College Hostel In Salem; Canteen Closed

Health Department Continues Monitoring

Kochi Apartment Food Poisoning
Image Courtesy: Canva (Representative Image)

Flat association representatives are accusing officials of undercounting the number of affected residents, claiming over 700 people got sick. Official reports, however, only record 340 people seeking medical attention, with just five currently hospitalized. The discrepancy likely stems from residents seeking treatment at private hospitals, which haven’t reported those cases to the health department.

Minister George, in a statement to SouthFirst, admitted the possibility of missed cases and stressed the apartment complex management’s responsibility to promptly notify health authorities in such situations. Any delays and potential violations of health regulations will be investigated. This incident follows on the heels of a recent Hepatitis A outbreak in Ernakulam’s Vengoor Grama Panchayat.

The health department is now actively monitoring the situation and urging residents to take necessary precautions until the source of contamination is identified and dealt with. This includes boiling all drinking water and maintaining strict hygiene practices.

Also Read: Saudi Authorities Recall Contaminated Mayonnaise After Food Poisoning At Riyadh Eatery Kills 1

Furthermore, the potential delay in reporting the outbreak underlines the need for better communication channels between apartment complex management and health authorities. Establishing clear protocols for reporting suspected health emergencies is crucial to ensure a swift and effective response.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva (Representative Image)

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