Menacing strain: Surat in grip of Hepatitis E,48 reported ill

After Modasa,now Surat has been hit by a hepatitis epidemic. The district administration and the Health department swung into action after 48 cases of Hepatitis E were reported over the last five days in five villages of Olpad taluka.

Written by Express News Service | Surat | Published:February 19, 2009 1:10 am

Five villages affected; water pipeline contamination is likely reason

After Modasa,now Surat has been hit by a hepatitis epidemic. The district administration and the Health department swung into action after 48 cases of Hepatitis E were reported over the last five days in five villages of Olpad taluka.

The outbreak was reported after a drinking water pipeline got contaminated near Isanpur patiya.

The Health department has sent 43 teams to adopt preventive measures in the affected villages. On Wednesday,five new cases were reported.

The villagers complained of stomach pain and loose motion. Interestingly,most of the patients have opted for private treatment. While 28 cases were reported in the Masma village,13 were reported at Isanpur,five at Talad and two at Soshak.

Block Health Officer Dr M R Patil,who is camping in the affected region,said: “It all started after a drinking water pipeline got damaged and the water got contaminated. The affected villages include Masma,Isanpur,Talad and Soshak. The situation is under control now and we are taking all possible preventive measures.”

He added: “We have not given them any medicine,but have categorically asked them to consume a lot of glucose in any form.”

Dr Patil said after they received information about the sudden rise in cases,samples were collected and analysed at the New Civil Hospital in Surat. “The report has confirmed it as Hepatitis E. More samples have been sent for further analysis,” he said.

Chief District Health Officer (Surat) Dr V R Gupta told Newsline: “There is no connection between what happened in Modasa and Olpad. Hepatitis E is a purely waterborne disease. We are expecting the number of cases will increase because of the nature of the illness. We will monitor the situation for at least next 15 days. There are as many as 43 medical teams moving in the affected areas and analysing the situation.”

The villagers,meanwhile,blamed the district administration for the outbreak. “We had been receiving turbid water for long,but nobody paid attention to the problem. Now that a lot many people have fallen sick they have woken up,” said Jiviben Rathod,a resident of the Talav maholla at Masma.

Piyush Patel,sarpanch of Masma,said: “Chlorination was not done for many days and the situation worsened after the water got contaminated. Now,they have started the supply from the new line,which was already installed. Still,the water is not being chlorinated.”

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