Hepatitis D outbreak: 8 doctors booked for illegal practice

A fortnight after the Hepatitis D outbreak in Modasa,the state government has filed a case against eight doctors from across the district.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: February 16, 2009 12:46:15 am

A fortnight after the Hepatitis D outbreak in Modasa,the state government has filed a case against eight doctors from across the district. The blight has already claimed 16 lives including four on Sunday,while nearly 50 cases have been detected so far.

State Health secretary Rita Teotia said preliminary investigations has revealed the use of infected syringes as the possible cause of the outbreak. “We have filed FIRs against eight doctors and our officials are in Modasa for the last two days,doing door-to-door check ups. We will come to a conclusion on the exact reason after two teams of experts (from Pune and Delhi) arrive here tomorrow,” she said.

Chief District Health Officer of Sabarkantha HS Patel said they have collected 91 samples from Modasa and villages on its fringes for investigation.

The Modasa police,meanwhile,said the doctors booked were practicing allopathy even though they were not qualified to do so. Inspector K V Sagar said,“The eight doctors are accused of practising allopathy illegally,as they have degrees like BHMS (Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery). This is a violation of Section 30 of the Medical Practitioners Act.”

Sagar added that some more complaints might be lodged against other ayurvedic,homoeopathic and unani medicine practitioners.

The complaints were lodged in different police stations across Sabarkantha following police raids,in which allopathic medicines were recovered from the clinics. No arrest was made till the last report came in on Sunday.

According to sources,the FIRs were filed following findings of the rapid rescue teams from the B J Medical College and the civil hospital in Himmatnagar investigating the outbreak.

What is Hepatitis D?

The symptoms are liver inflammation,nausea,loss of appetite,joint pain,and tiredness. It attacks patients who have already contracted Hepatitis B and can claim life within seven days. Infection by the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) either occurs at the same time as Hepatitis B develops,or develops when infection by Hepatitis B virus (HBV) has entered the chronic stage. Patients infected by both are more likely to develop chronic liver disease. Only 2-5 per cent of patients become chronic carriers (if the virus remains in their blood for over six months after infection).

Hepatitis D can be transmitted by way of blood transfusions,injections as well as unprotected sexual activity. CDHO H S Patel said: “We have given pamphlets for printing that will be distributed among the people,advising them to go for injections only if it is absolutely necessary and clarify myths.”

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