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October 28, 2018

Typhoid, hepatitis, measles still haunting child population


October 28, 2018

Rawalpindi : Almost all public sector healthcare facilities along with private clinics and hospitals are still receiving significant number of child patients with typhoid, hepatitis, and diarrhoea along with few cases of measles though the weather conditions have changed and winter is about to set in.

The three allied hospitals in town including Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Holy Family Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital have been receiving a number of child patients with viral hepatitis and typhoid since the advent of summer this year, said Head of Paediatrics Department at Rawalpindi Medical University Professor Dr. Rai Muhammad Asghar while talking to ‘The News’ on Friday.

He added the incidence of typhoid and hepatitis among children in the existing weather conditions is alarming because these are summer related health threats and the allied hospitals in general do not receive significant number of patients with the problems after fall in mercury.

At present, the allied hospitals are receiving nearly 150 child patients with typhoid per week on average and almost the same number of child patients are reporting with viral hepatitis, hepatitis A though the incidence of measles is much low, he said.

He added hepatitis A and typhoid are water and food borne infections and majority of cases can easily be prevented by the use of preferably boiled water for drinking. “Mineral water is not recommended instead drinking water must be rolling boiled for at least five minutes and then cooled down.”

Typhoid, an infectious bacterial fever that attacks the intestines, is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. Once Salmonella Typhi bacteria are eaten or drunk, they multiply and spread into the bloodstream. The body reacts with fever and other signs and symptoms. Typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where hand-washing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage. It is important that if untreated, typhoid can be life threatening as it may cause sepsis, intestinal perforation and kidney failure while it may damage any other organ of the body.

According to Dr. Rai, the incidence of hepatitis A should not be taken as non-serious by parents as it may cause life-threatening complications.

When a child contracts hepatitis A, he or she loses appetite almost completely and starts suffering from persistent vomiting and abdominal pain for three to four days before appearance of apparent symptoms including yellowing of the eyes and a child patient with such symptoms must be taken to the nearest healthcare facility, he said.

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