Hepatitis-B strain spreads alarm

As much as 23.9 per cent of blood samples collected from two wards of Ooramana in Ramamangalam panchayat have come out positive for Hepatitis-B .

An interim report of the virology team from the Manipal Centre for Virus Research which collected more than 2,000 blood samples from Ooramana, has revealed that the scale of infection was alarming.

The research team headed by Dr Arun Kumar has so far examined 824 blood samples out of which 189 were identified as positive, which means 23.9 per cent of the 824 people are affected. The blood samples were collected from more than 700 households in Ooramana.

Within two months, 30 people have been infected with jaundice. Health minister V.S Sivakumar who visited the village to review the situation on Saturday, asked the District Medical Officer Dr Junaid Rahman to seek an interim report from Manipal. The 10-member expert team will submit the final report on November 12 to the health department.

During the review meeting, the health minister stated that free medical treatment would be provided to all patients.

The health survey was aimed at identifying the Hepatitis B-affected and carriers of the virus causing the disease.

With the results, the experts will be able to not only find out the scale of infection, but also separate those who have been affected in the past two months, six months and those who had been affected earlier.

Meanwhile, the reason for the spread of Hepatitis-B in the area is not known. Experts from Manipal have ruled out lifestyle-related issues for the outbreak.

“Since Hepatitis-B can spread only through blood or through other body fluids, the root cause for the spread of the infection needs to be thoroughly investigated,” said experts.

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