Hepatitis B broke out in Kaker Village of this North Kashmir district with more than 50 persons including five family members complaining of symptoms of the disease.
Reports reaching Global News Service said that more than 50 persons suffered from Hepatitis B in Kaker Village, Lolab in frontier district of Kupwara. The residents blame polluted drinking water from Nalla, which is the main source of drinking water to dozens of villages in the area, for the outbreak of the disease.
“The reoccurrence of Hepatitis B cases is common in the area,” Muhammad Sultan a resident said whose relative also felt victim to this disease.
The family members suffering from Hepatitis were identified as Dilawar Ahmad Khan, Shafiq Ahmad Khan, Naseeruddin Khan, Azharuddin Khan father of late Sader Din Khan and their sister Sabrina.
“The father of the family, Sader Din and his brother Siraj Din also died last year due to Hepatitis B,” Sultan added.
When contacted Block Medical Officer Sogam, Dr Farooq Qureshi told GNS that a team of doctors led by him have rushed to the village for mass screening. “One of the affected families had been diagnosed under Hepatitis B at SKIMS Soura,” he said.
The BMO said we have already taken blood samples of about 100 persons from the area for tests which are expected to be completed within two days. “The infection is blood-borne and can spread through infected needles and unsafe blood transfusion. So the medical team is conducting awareness program to prevent the spread of infection,” he said.
He said the situation was “under control” and people did not need to panic. “As per the patients, they have taken contaminated water flowing in the area from a nearby jungle.”
While urging people to use boiled water BMO said Hepatitis B is a water-borne disease and usually occurs due to the contaminated water. “Usually Hepatitis B cases are found in the area. People should take extra precautions while using tap water. They must ensure that the water they take is boiled and filtered.”
As per locals, the area lacks potable water facility and people use existing resources like water from the “Nallas” for drinking and other uses like washing.