Jaundice outbreak in Sambalpur: 37 new cases reported in 24 Hours

Meanwhile, to check further spread of the disease, the Sambalpur Municipal Corporation has begun testing food and water samples from different areas of the city.
Representative image
Representative image

SAMBALPUR: The sudden spike in jaundice (Hepatitis A) with 37 more positive cases reported within 24 hours in Sambalpur city on Thursday has left health officials concerned.

With this, the number of the affected has gone up to 59 from the last recorded positive cases of 22 on Wednesday. Like previous cases, most of the patients are below the age of 15 while a few are adults. District health department sources said as of now, the cases stand at 59. “However, all the patients were sent back after preliminary treatment and no one is hospitalised at present,” they said.

Chief district medical officer (CDMO), Sujata Rani Mishra said, the outbreak has been reported from three localities in the city including 41 cases from Kumbharpada, 10 cases from Pension Pada and eight cases from Dhoba Pada. “Thousands of people have been surveyed to detect the confirmed cases and measures have been taken to sensitise them to check further spread,” she informed.

Gyanaranjan Mohanty, an epidemiologist from the district health team, said peripheral teams including ASHAs, ANMs, MHUs and public health managers have been engaged to go door-to-door and sensitise people. “We have also been going around houses in the affected localities to collect samples. The situation is under control,” he asserted. Of the total, in two cases the infection was found to have developed before 28 days. While the actual cause behind the outbreak is yet to be ascertained, earlier on Tuesday, additional district health officer (ADMO- public health), Ashok Das had said the incubation period of jaundice is usually one to two weeks.

“As the city recently celebrated Sital Sasthi yatra, it is suspected that the infection spread due to consumption of some contaminated food item during the festival,” he said.

Meanwhile, to check further spread of the disease, the Sambalpur Municipal Corporation has begun testing food and water samples from different areas of the city. SMC commissioner Vedbhushan said water samples from food vendors around the locality and crowded markets in have been collected for testing. “The team has also collected samples from some ice factories of the city. Food safety drive launched during Sital Sasthi has been intensified and the team is also raiding multiple food vendor premises and destroying unsafe food items,” he said.

The worst outbreak of jaundice had occurred in 2014 during which around 30 lives were lost. The spread of the disease was attributed to contamination of drinking water. The fresh outbreak has, meanwhile, not only triggered panic among the residents but also left them resenting as they allege negligence on part of the district administration towards sanitation and water safety.

Meanwhile, H&UD Minister Krushna Chandra Mahapatra has directed the CEO of WATCO to investigate water quality in Sambalpur.

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