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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 131-136

Investigation of jaundice outbreak in a rural area of Odisha, India: Lessons learned and the way forward

Department of Community and Family Medicine, All Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Preetam B Mahajan
Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Sijua, PO: Dumduma, Bhubaneswar - 751 019, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2225-6482.172650

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Background and Objectives: Hepatitis, a condition with liver inflammation, mostly follows hepatitis virus infection of different types A, B, C, D, and E. Each year, numerous outbreaks of hepatitis virus are being reported from around the country, more so from the “Empowered Action Group (EAG) States.” The present outbreak investigation was performed in Odisha, India to study the epidemiology, explore the reasons behind it, and suggest preventive measures for the future. Materials and Methods: A team consisting of public health doctors from All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India investigated the hepatitis E outbreak as per standard guidelines in one of the villages of Tangi block in the state of Odisha, using a questionnaire between January 1, 2015 and January 15, 2015. The data were entered and analyzed in Microsoft Excel 2007. Time, place, and person analysis were performed for all case patients. Result: Hepatitis E outbreak occurred between November 16, 2014 and January 1, 2015, affecting 22 individuals. The attack rate was 44/1,000 in the population and young males were mostly infected. Spot map of the outbreak probably points toward point source epidemic. Most of the infected cases had visited allopathic doctors as well as traditional healers. Less than 50% people had some knowledge about the prevention and control of hepatitis virus infection. Open defecation was highly prevalent in the village. The well was the commonest source of drinking water and the condition of wells was non-sanitary. Less than 2% started hand-washing after the end of the outbreak in the community. Conclusion: Focus of outbreak investigation should not restrict only to immediate control but should rather lead to intervention by the health system in the area for construction of community toilets, improved drinking water facilities, and sustained information, education, and communication (IEC) activities to promote personal hygiene and water safety behavior in the community.

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