A Hepatitis E outbreak has spread panic among city residents in the Halishahar area
The number of jaundice patients is rising alarmingly in Halishahar of Chittagong city.
Earlier, the district’s Civil Surgeon, Dr Azizur Rahman Siddique, had directed all private and public hospitals in the city to keep a record of people admitted with jaundice and Hepatitis E virus, and then to report it to his office.
According to the Civil Surgeon’s Office, till Wednesday, as many as 178 people in Halishahar were found infected with the Hepatitis E virus, and by Thursday, the number of jaundice patients there rose to 396.
Confirming the numbers, Azizur told the Dhaka Tribune: “The majority of jaundice patients in that area are suffering from the Hepatitis E virus.”
He said they have set up a makeshift medical camp in the affected area to treat patients. “We are also distributing water purifying pills among people and leaflets warning them against drinking unsafe water.”
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He had earlier said water was the main cause behind the latest outbreak of Hepatitis E in Halishahar, where around 800,000 people live.
But, the Chittagong Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) has said there was no chance of contamination of the water they supply, as it is purified in several stages.
Chittagong Wasa Managing Director, AKM Fazlullah, told the Dhaka Tribune that no trace of coliform or faecal coliform was found in their water samples tested at the Central Laboratory of the Public Health Engineering Department in Mohakhali, Dhaka.
At least three people have also reportedly died in that area since the recent Hepatitis E outbreak was first noticed two months ago.
A team from the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Research (IEDCR) in Dhaka, also went to the port city on Wednesday to investigate the deaths.
Dr Azizur also said they have earmarked 100 beds at the Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (BITID) in Fouzderhat to treat people affected by water-borne diseases.