After Floods, Kashmir Now Faces Epidemic Threat

Tasavur Mushtaq

SRINAGAR

As flood waters start to recede in valley, the region is faced with yet another challenge–threat of an epidemic outbreak.

According to reports, even though flood waters have been subsiding in recent days, many areas remain inundated and there are fears of an epidemic.

“We are sitting on a time bomb of an imminent epidemic outbreak. The clock is ticking fast and if immediate steps are not taken, a disaster of a much bigger scale could soon engulf the entire Kashmir Valley,” Medical Commandant with Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Dr P M Kabui is quoted to have said.

Reports from the ground speak of a stench of death from animal carcasses, rotting vegetables, overflowing drains and other filth. According to health workers if these carcasses floods are not removed and disposed of properly, they can also cause plague and other such diseases.

Compounding the threat and adding to the miseries of the residents is the fact that the flood has rendered the entire Srinagar Municipal Corporation defunct with most of the areas filled with heaps of garbage.

“People do not have access to clean drinking water and they are forced to drink the contaminated flood water which can give rise to many water-borne diseases like hepatitis, diarrhea and several others,” Kabui said.

Dr Shakeel, Physican specialist told Kashmir Life that people can suffer from diseases like malaria and dengue in the coming days. Previously, these diseases were least known to the people of Kashmir, he added.

“History is witness that an area affected by flood is always vulnerable to deadly diseases like plague. The government needs to put in place its men and machinery to clean and dispose of these carcasses at the earliest, so that the outbreak of the epidemic can be put under check,” Dr Kabui said.

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