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Shopian villages witness jaundice outbreak, many children fall sick

Executive Engineer Jal Shakti Department Abdul Rashid told Greater Kashmir that a filtration plant in the area was under construction and it would soon resolve the problem of contaminated water.
11:52 PM Jan 30, 2024 IST | Gulzar Bhat
shopian villages witness jaundice outbreak  many children fall sick
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Shopian, Jan 30: On Monday afternoon, a 10-year-old girl from Pahnoo village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district was admitted to SMHS Hospital in Srinagar after she did not show a significant improvement at a local hospital.

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With yellowish eyes and skin, the girl was diagnosed with jaundice.

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After being treated at a local medical facility for a few days, she was sent to SMSHS, where she showed signs of improvement.

“Now she is responding well to the treatment,” her father Mukhtar Ahmad said.

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Ahmad’s daughter is not the only child grappling with the jaundice in his village.
There are close to a dozen children diagnosed with the same disease.

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“Around eight to 10 children are suffering from jaundice in this village,” said Showkat Ahmad, the village head.

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The village comprising 195 households has witnessed an outbreak of diseases over the last few days, spurring the authorities to send medical teams to the area to take samples.
“Many children are also sick in other areas and are being treated for jaundice,” Ahmad said.

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He said that the entire area was being supplied with unfiltered water, leading to such diseases.
Hepatitis A is a water-borne disease and mostly affects children.

Medical Superintendent of District Hospital Shopian, Dr Rubeena Maqbool said that the team had taken five water and five serology samples from the area and those were being processed.

The residents from the adjoining Woterpora and Pehlipora villages also said that the areas had witnessed an outbreak of jaundice.

A doctor said that unsafe water and poor sanitation were linked to the risk of Hepatitis A infection.

It is not the first time that the district has witnessed the outbreak of the disease.

Over the last few years, hundreds of Hepatitis-A cases have been reported from the area.

Last year, in the first five months, a total of 506 samples were tested for Hepatitis-A, and of them, 92 turned out to be positive.

Executive Engineer Jal Shakti Department Abdul Rashid told Greater Kashmir that a filtration plant in the area was under construction and it would soon resolve the problem of contaminated water.

However, he said that the area received a supply of properly treated water.

“During this season there is no turbidity at all and we supply water after proper chlorination,” Rashid said.

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