25 cases registered in three months
Shopian: Health authorities are registering an “alarming” surge in Hepatitis cases detected in Shopian, especially in villages around Vehil.
Health officials said 25 cases have been registered upto April 15 this years (three and a half months), while 38 cases of Hepatitis B and C were registered in the district in 2017.
“Having these number of cases in three months is alarming, and adequate measures should be taken to tackle the diseases,” Mubashir Ahmad, a doctor said.
Officials blame the spread of disease to unsafe practices adopted by chemists, dentists and barbers in the area.
Block Medical Officer Shopian, Dr Muhammad Yousuf told Kashmir Reader that cases were recorded mostly from a particular area , “that is the villages adjacent to Vehil”.
He said that in some cases patients recover with medicines within days but the complicated cases have to go for lifelong medication.
Medicos suspect use of a single blade for different customers by barbers and use of single syringe by the chemists as the cause of disease breakout.
Chief Medical Officer Shopian, Dr Abdul Rasheed described the issue as alarming, but said they have brought the issue to the notice of Director Health.
“Director Health has deputed a team and NGO for the area. We will do fresh sampling of 16 villages which is comprised of 56000 souls in Vehil area where we are witnessing these cases and we will see further whether there is rise or decline in new cases,” he said.
He said the health department is providing continuous health education to the inhabitants through different means.
“We are conducting public meets, we have involved schools, teachers and giving direct health awareness to the villagers to tackle the issue,” he said while adding that department has acted against several private medical shops and barber shops who were apparently using single blade for several customers and single needles for injecting different patients.
Doctors say Hepatitis B can spread through different means including direct contact with infected blood, transfer from mother to baby during birth, prick with a contaminated needle, intimate contact with a person with HBV, unsafe sex, using a razor or any other personal item with remnants of infected fluid.
Patients show symptoms like, fatigue, dark urine, joint and muscle pain, loss of appetite, fever, abdominal discomfort, weakness, yellowing of the whites of the eyes (sclera) and skin (jaundice), they said.