<i>Food poisoning of Habiganj expats still a mystery</i>
The 'food poisoning' that left an elderly member of an expatriate family dead and 14 others hospitalised still remains a mystery as a few persons who took the same food on Monday night were not affected.
Eight of the affected people got release from Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital as they got well yesterday afternoon.
"It appears to be a case of food poisoning. Eight of the affected have been released and others will be all right in a day or two. We will be able to ascertain the cause of their falling unconscious after treatment of the rest completes,” Dr Ehtesham Ul Haque Chowdhury, assistant director of the hospital, told this correspondent yesterday.
Septuagenarian expatriate Nur Chowdhury died while 14 others of the family were admitted to the hospital Tuesday morning as they fell unconscious following dinner the night before.
They had reached their Habiganj residence from UK on Monday.
“I can't understand how it happened. All of us had launch at a restaurant near Bhairab while coming to the village home at Nabiganj. Then we took dinner at our house at night. After hours, we had headache and vomiting in addition to indigestion,” son of the deceased, Shahed Ahmed Chowdhury said yesterday.
"My maternal aunt, who was residing there, also fell victim to the food poisoning although maternal uncle Sazzadur Rahman and a few domestic aides remained normal after having the same food that night," he said.
Sazzad, hailing from the nearby village Bhargaon, received the expatriate family at Hajrat Shahjalal (RA) International Airport in the capital on Monday.
He told this correspondent in the hospital yesterday afternoon, "The man who was looking after the electric generator at the house called me on Tuesday morning. Getting no response from Nur Chowdhury's room, we entered there and found him unconscious. Immediately we took him and others to Nabiganj hospital where doctors declared him dead.”
Nur Chowdhury had been suffering from different old age ailments, Sazzad said, adding that the physician asked us to send the other victims to Sylhet.
Those who got release from hospital yesterday are Nur Chowdhury's sons-Shahed Ahmed Chowdhury, 32, Moshtaque Ahmed Chowdhury, 18, and Alamgir Chowdhury, 25, son Zaved's wife Lovely Chowdhury, 22, daughter Helena Begum's son Sumon Ahmed, 16, and daughter Bushra Begum, 10, Selina Begum's brother's wife Monwara Begum, 25, and Nur Chowdhury's brother's wife Newa Begum, 60, were released yesterday.
All of them except Monowara Begum are expatriates.
Nur Chowdhury's wife Selina Begum, 60, her daughter Helena Begum, 35, son Zaved Ahmed Chowdhury, 25, son Shahed's children Md Ibrahim Ahmed, 8, Umar Ahmed, 4, and Sabia Akhtar, 2, continued receiving treatment at the hospital. They were being given saline and other medicines.
After post mortem at Habiganj Sadar Hospital, Nur Chowdhury's body is now kept at the mortuary of Sylhet Diabetic Hospital. The funeral may take place today on arrival of some other family members. Two sons and a son-in-law of the deceased were expected to reach Sylhet last night (Wednesday) from the UK, family sources said.