Hepatologists stress safe water to curb Hepatitis E

They warn of jaundice outbreak this summer

Md Jahangir Alam | Published: April 27, 2019 22:28:40 | Updated: May 07, 2019 21:37:25

Renowned liver specialist Dr Md Shahinul Alam addressing a scientific seminar in the city on Saturday  

The prevalence of Jaundice (from Hepatitis E virus) may lead to an alarming level unless safe drinking water is ensured for all.

Leading hepatologists of the country came up with the observation at a scientific seminar in the city on Saturday. Hepatology Society, Dhaka, Bangladesh arranged the programme, presided over by noted liver specialist Prof Dr Mobin Khan.

Dr Golam Azom, Associate Professor of BIRDEM and also Secretary (Scientific Affairs) of the organisation, Dr Saiful Islam Alin and Dr Md Shahinul Alam from BSMMU presented scientific findings at the seminar. They also alerted city dwellers about the spread of jaundice caused by hepatitis E virus this summer. They stressed awareness on safe drinking water, especially for urban people.

According to a previous study, led by Prof Mobin Khan,  the prevalence of Hepatitis E virus, commonly  known as jaundice in Bangladesh, increases in May to September every year. Water gets contaminated due to rain and wastes. City dwellers are prone to take unsafe water, juice or other unhealthy drinks due to excessive heat.

In Bangladesh, Hepatitis E virus causes jaundice. Hepatitis E is a water-borne disease. City dwellers suffer from jaundice more than rural people.

In Chattogram last year, there was an epidemic outbreak of Hepatitis E virus resulting in deaths of a few people as well.

After a flood in 2004, there was a severe epidemic of acute E viral Hepatitis. Over 1,000  students of Dhaka University suffered from this disease and one of them died. In Bangladesh, around 50-70 per cent cases of acute viral jaundice are caused by Hepatitis E virus. Three-fourth of the patients belong to working group (22-55 years of old). They have to refrain from their work for at least 15-45 days. In general, the rate of mortality is less than 1.0 per cent, but in case of pregnant women it is 80 per cent.

Hepatology Society advised the city dwellers to abide by these six precautionary steps to prevent jaundice:

  • Ensuring use of safe drinking water and boiling water for 30 minutes before drinking.
  • Avoiding stale cooked foods at restaurant or home strictly.
  • Avoiding all drinks or street foods if absolute hygiene is not maintained.
  • Washing hands thoroughly with soap before eating and after using toilets.
  • Cleaning water tanks with bleaching powder in every four months.
  • Consulting physicians if there is any yellow coloration of eye.



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