Faecal coliform confirmed in water used in Palpa wedding feastOver 150 people had fallen sick after attending the feast on Saturday.
The cause of illness in more than 150 wedding attendees in Palpa was polluted water, according to the Palpa Health Office.
The water used in the wedding feast at Chirtungdhara in Bagnaskali Rural Municipality-1, Palpa on Saturday was found to be contaminated, the health office said. Laboratory test results have confirmed the presence of faecal coliform bacteria in the water.
Two drums of water were used during the wedding feast and faecal coliform bacteria was found in one of the drums, said Madhusudhan Bhattarai, lab technician at the health office.
According to Bhattarai, the health office is yet to determine whether the contamination was limited to that one drum of water or if the water source itself is contaminated.
Drinking water contaminated with faecal coliform could lead to water-borne diseases, including diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid, and hepatitis, among others.
Dan Bahadur Gaha, a resident of Chirtungdhara, organised a party on the occasion of his daughter’s wedding for more than 150 villagers and relatives. Almost all the attendees started falling ill a day later.
According to health workers deployed in the area, family members of over 100 families from Budhakhande, Bhanjeli, Amreli, Pipartung, and Dhatol localities in Churtungdhara and Ghorbanda villages were taken ill.
The patients complained of having multiple symptoms including fever, diarrhoea, headache, nausea and vomiting.
According to locals, some people pointed out that the water was murky but nobody paid attention to it.
According to Saraswati Chidi, chair of Bagnaskali Rural Municipality, health workers were deployed in every house following the mass illness.
According to Saroj Kafle, head of Pokharathok Health Post, reports of people falling ill in neighbouring villages are also coming in.
“Most of the people who came to attend the wedding were sick,” Kafle said. “As waterborne diseases can infect others easily, everyone should follow safety standards and drink clean water.”