The number of confirmed Hepatitis A cases in Thalakkulathur grama panchayat in Kozhikode district has climbed up to 84. It is expected that there will be more cases in the coming days.
The Health Department has found that all those who fell ill had consumed a drink which was served at a private house warming function held at Thalakkulathur on May 12.
Sources from the Health Department said one of the family members who hosted the function had Hepatitis A. However, she had no symptoms on the day of the function and she was on incubation period. She had prepared the welcome drinks, which were served at the function. It was only on May 19 that she fell sick and showed the symptoms.
Over 1000 people had attended the function. So far, all the confirmed cases were found to have consumed the drink. Those who did not consume the drink but had the food were not found to be sick.
Dr Jayasree, District Medical Officer of Kozhikode district said, â€śAs of June 16, there are 84 reported cases. Considering the incubation period of 45 days, we are adding 45 days to May 12 and expecting more cases to be reported in the coming days.â€ť
â€śThere is only supportive treatment for Hepatitis A. We have given necessary directions for the treatment and all the reported cases are under our observation,â€ť she added.
On Health Department's interventions, Dr Jayasree explained, â€śSuper chlorination has been done to all drinking water sources in the area. In super chlorination, we add twice the amount of chlorine that we usually use. We distributed awareness pamphlets. Health staff are conducting house to house visits and giving information on proper toilet hygiene practices, the importance of using boiled water for drinking, the need for having separate utensils for the patient and other isolation measures if a family member has the disease.â€ť
Dr Jayasree added, â€śToday we will be coming out with an advisory asking those who attended the function at Thalakkulathur to be vigilant and report to us if they develop any symptoms in the coming days.â€ť
Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus and affects the liver. The virus is transmitted primarily by faecal-oral route (that is, an uninfected person eats food or drinks water that has been contaminated with the faeces of an infected person). The disease can also spread through direct contact with an infectious person. Vaccines are available to protect against the disease. Non-contaminated water and food supply, proper sanitation and good personal hygiene are very important to prevent the disease. Hepatitis A is not fatal however if left untreated it can cause acute liver failure and this can be fatal.