A private school in Manali in Kullu district is in the grip of jaundice with 17 students falling ill since more than a week.

The illness came to light after the students of the private school, one after another remained absent from school.

The first case from the school was admitted to the Government Civil Hospital, Manali on July 1, after which more cases from the school started trickling in to the hospital.

Kullu, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Susheel Chander who is also an epidemiologist, visited the private school talking to The Statesman over phone confirmed of outbreak of jaundice in a private school in Manali.

All the 17 students are in the recovering, he said. Other than these students, on Tuesday four more cases were reported at the civil hospital, he added.

Susheel Chander said, “Jaundice is owing to water contamination cannot be ruled out. To ascertain the exact cause five water samples have been lifted to check contamination. To ascertain the type of Hepatitis, five blood samples have also been sent for laboratory tests.”

After jaundice case was reported from the school a team consisting of Block Medical Officer, Health Educator, designated officer under the Food Safety Act visited the school to take stock of the situation.

As a part of remedial measure the CMO also held a meeting with the school authorities and directed them to immediately disconnect the water tapped from the nearby nullah.

The school besides the water supply from Irrigation and Public Health Department (IPH) had been utilising the water source from the nearby nullah, he disclosed.

Information Education and Communication (IEC) activity was also conducted in the school to sensitise the school authorities, staff and the students, he said, adding that the students have been directed to bring boiled water to school.