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Karnataka lake drained in fear of HIV virus

The lake is a key source of drinking water for over 1,000 people who live in the drought-affected region and earn their livelihoods by farming

By Reuters in New Delhi

  • Published 6.12.18, 3:04 AM
  • Updated 6.12.18, 3:04 AM
Water is drained out of the lake in Morab in Karnataka on Tuesday.
Water is drained out of the lake in Morab in Karnataka on Tuesday. PTI

Indian authorities are pumping water out of a sprawling southern lake to assuage villagers’ fears it was contaminated after the discovery of the body of a woman infected with HIV, a regional official said on Wednesday.

The virus is usually transmitted through sexual intercourse, infected blood and from an infected mother to the baby in her womb or through breastfeeding, but the villagers’ alarm at the discovery a week ago drove the demand for the lake to be drained, the official said.

“We tried our best to assure the villagers that we would get the water tested, but they did not budge and even refused to come near the lake,” said Naveen Hullur, who is in charge of the area.

The lake near the village of Morab in Karnataka covers 32 acres. It is a key source of drinking water for over 1,000 people who live in the drought-affected region and earn their livelihoods by farming.

The HIV virus which causes AIDS is not spread in air, water or in food, or by sharing cups, bowls, cutlery, clothing, or toilet seats. It cannot survive in the body after the infected person dies.

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