Hepatitis outbreak in Uri villages, SDM orders probe

Hepatitis outbreak in Uri villages, SDM orders probe
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BARAMULLA: Dozens of people have been found infected with Hepatitis in several villages of border town Uri, with the Sub District magistrate ordering a probe into the cause of outbreak.
Villagers and health workers are putting the blame on contaminated water supplies to the villages.
Local sources said that Hepatitis outbreaks have been reported from Mayan, Bijhama, Jabedar, Niloosa and adjoining villages over the past few days due to the polluted and contaminated drinking water.
The residents said that there is a good water resource in the area but the pipeline which provides water was leaking gets mixed with drain water at places. They said that despite repeated requests the Public Health and Engineering (PHE) officials have failed to repair the pipeline.
Dr Ayaz Ahmad Wani, posted at primary health centre Bijhama agreed that the contaminated water was causing the infection in the villages.
He said that at least 22 patients have tested positive for Hepatitis at the hospital in the last 15 days.
He added that a special team from District Hospital Baramulla has tested water samples from the village which found the water contaminated.
Executive Engineer, PHE Sub-Division Uri, Harjeet Singh, said that while water supply scheme in Bijhama was not in a good condition but there could be some other cause for the spread of Hepatitis.
He said he would depute a team to the area to ascertain the facts, but added it was premature to speculate the cause of infection.
Meanwhile, In view of the outbreak of Hepatitis and throat infection in Bijhama, Sub Divisional Magistrate Uri Baseer-ul-Haq Choudhary constituted a team headed by Tehsildar Boniyar to investigate the matter.
Ex-Engineer Hydraulic Division Uri, Block Medical Officer (BMO) Boniyar, and Medical Officer PHC Bijhama would be part of the investigating team which would collect samples of water from area for lab testing.
The BMO Boniyar has been directed to provide medical facilities to affected people and create awareness about precautionary measures.