Diarrhoea claimed at least two lives and infected 9 others in Basanta Pangkhoa Para, a village in Balukhali union under Rangamati Sadar upazila, in the last ten days.
The deceased are Vanrokimi Pangkhoa, 38, and Lal Lom Pangkhoa, 20. Both of them died on way to hospital -- Vanrokimi on July 10 and Lal Lom on July 20, said locals.
Panic-stricken villagers have been staying away from the village and taking refuge at nearby jhum houses, said Chiyal Jowl Pangkhoa, headman of the para.
Shahid Talukdar, civil surgeon in Rangamati, said a medical team has been sent to Basanta Pangkhoa Para on July 11 and it has been providing necessary treatment to patients there. The team has already distributed water purifying tablets and oral saline to 28 families that live in the village.
“Consumption of dirty water might have spread this waterborne disease... We have been advising the villagers to boil water and use water purifying tablets [in it] before drinking,” he said, adding that at least 3,035 people were infected with diarrhoea in the last six months in the district.
Bijoy Giri Chakma, chairman of Balukhali union parishad, said the village has around 150 inhabitants, who usually collect water from small creeks in the hills and do not boil or purify it before consumption.
They might have been infected with diarrhoea due to the practice and poor roads in the remote village might have been the reason for the deaths on way to hospital, he also said.