More Hepatitis cases reported, but at reduced rate

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The number Hepatitis A (Infectious Hepatitis) cases in Moneragala has increased by 13 within the last three days, raising the total number detected from the beginning of this month till date to 119, Deputy Provincial Health Director Dr. K. Adikari said yesterday.

 Dr Adikari, however, said that the numbers being reported were dwindling gradually following the emergency control measures put in place with the help of local authorities and the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB). He said the situation would be under control within the next few days.

 An outbreak of Hepatitis A was recorded from Sept. 7, when water from the Moragala Oya was contaminated with human faecal matter.

 Dr. Adikari said that there were approximately 700 persons (approximately 100 families) living above the intake area of the Moragala Oya. The District Secretary and a team had already held discussions on the possibilities of shifting those people who were estate workers.

"The matter will have to be discussed with the District Development Committee and we are not sure what kind of resistance we would have to face at a political level," he said.

Dr.  Adikari said that those families would have to be shifted to a different area while steps were taken to provide them with houses with water, electricity and sanitary facilities. They were not using the toilets available to them.

NWSDB Regional Support Centre (Uva), Acting General Manager, K. Pratheepan, contacted for comment, said that the water provided by the NWSDB was now safe, but that people had been advised to boil it before drinking. A request had been made to the Pradeshiya Sabha to shut down its treatment plant for two to three weeks. Dr. Adikari said.

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