Visakhapatnam: About 800 villagers of K. Kotapadu mandal in Visakhapatnam suffered from suspected food poisoning on Sunday midnight. According to District Medical and Health Officer Dr. J. Sarojini, about 2,000 people from about 40 surrounding villages, including Pathavalasa, Kothabhoomi, Srungavaram and others, had lunch at Mr Gokada Govinda's house in Marrivalasa on Sunday.
The guests consumed non-vegetarian dishes like biryani etc. At about 11 pm, some villagers started experiencing abdominal pain, vomiting and loose motions. As the number of victims grew into hundreds in the ensuing hours, they were all shifted to hospitals in K Kotapadu, Kothavalasa and Pendurti for treatment in ambulances.
Dr. Sarojini, V. Madug-ula MLA B. Mutyala Naidu and RDO B. Padmavathi had monitored the medical services offered to the patients at various hospitals.
Special camps were conducted for the victims at the K. Kotapadu Hospital as well as at primary school in Marrivalasa on Sunday midnight and Monday.
While some villagers suspect stale meat as the reason for the food poising, adulterated oil or contaminated water sachets to be the cause for food poisoning. Dr. Sarojini said the reason for such violent food poisoning cannot be arrived at without proper investigation.
“We asked the food safety officials to collect the samples of water sachets as well as food items that were served at the lunch. Majority of patients received treatment on an outpatient basis. There were no serious cases and there is nothing to worry. All these symptoms were primary in nature and just required simple outpatient treatment,” she added.
By Monday night, except 30 patients all the remaining patients were discharged from the hospitals. The food safety officials’ report is expected to arrive in the next three days. RDO Padmavathi directed the officials to ban the sale of the water sachets of the particular company, which were supplied at the lunch until the food safety officials' report comes in. The villagers heaved a sigh of relief in the evening as all the patients were out of danger.