TIMERGARA, Aug 15: Three persons died in Sangolai and Sher Khani villages of the district after breakout of gastroenteritis, health officials said here on Monday.

They said that Medicine Sans Frontiers, an international organisation of doctors, had set up a diarrhoea treatment centre at the emergency ward of district headquarters hospital after breakout of gastroenteritis in the two villages of Balambat tehsil a week ago.

A man identified as Gul Mula and a woman identified as wife of Dost Mohammad of Sher Khani died of the disease at the hospital, they said. Another woman identified as wife of Ameer Mohammad of Sangolai village also fell prey to the disease, they added.

Fazal Karim, a private medical practitioner, told Dawn that he attended five to 10 gastroenteritis patients daily during the last seven days. “Some of the patients recover soon after taking infusions and antibiotics at home while some are referred to hospital,” he said, adding more than 100 people were affected by the disease.

Dr Shabir Ahmad, a representative of MSF, said that an isolated ward at the hospital's emergency had been set up by their organisation. He said that an average 40 patients with loose motions and symptoms of diarrhoea were being examined daily by MSF doctors while some of them had been admitted to the ward, specified for the purpose. The situation, he said, was under control.

Mr Karim was of the view that use of hilly snow during the holy month of Ramazan could be a cause of the outbreak of gastroenteritis.

Meanwhile, the executive district officer health, Dr Shaukat Ali, told local journalists that teams of experts had been sent to both the villages. He said that experts would find out causes of the disease so that they could take appropriate preventive measures.

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