SKIMS team visits Takia Magam, collects 350 samples

KHALID GUL

Islamabad (Anantnag), Jan 31: A medical team from SKIMS visited Takia Magam village of Kokernag in this south Kashmir district on Thursday to ascertain the cause of the Hepatitis-C infection breaking out in the village.
 A team of doctors from Department of Gastroenterology, SKIMS conducted medical checkup of the villagers and collected samples for testing.
 “We had sent a team of doctors to the village which conducted a medical checkup of at least 400 persons in Tarka Magam village and its adjacent areas,” said Dr Showkat Zargar, Director SKIMS and Chief Gastroenterologist of the Valley.
 He said that 350 more samples were also collected from the area.  
 Describing the epidemic in the area as a decade old, Dr Zargar said the exact cause of the epidemic is yet to be known. “There can be multiple reasons of the epidemic and we are working on the exact cause and are hopeful to arrive at the conclusion soon. But primarily it seems that it is a decade old infection transmitted by some specific source,” said Dr Zargar.
  “The infection is not fresh and could have spread long back by continuous use of un-sterilized needles,” Dr Zargar asserted.
 He said that to track the source of infection is a challenge.  Dr Zargar said most people in this remote hamlet work outside state so area being vulnerable to Hepatic-C cannot be ruled out.
 Dr Zargar said that Hepatic-C often remains undetected as there are no evident symptoms.  “The disease causes slow destruction of liver and the symptoms are not evident even after 20 years of infection. Medicos come to know about the symptoms accidentally,” he added.
 Regarding the treatment, Dr Zargar said: “Though the treatment is very expensive but we have taken up the issue with the government so that people get proper medicare.”
 He said the educating people and creating awareness among the people was also equally important.
 At least 300 villagers have tested positive for the Hepatic-C virus.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST




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