Profile of hepatitis a and e in flood victims of rural chennai

Author: 
Jayashree Veerasamy., Karthika Jayakumar and Gurulakshmi R.B

Introduction: Floods are the most common natural disaster in both developed and developing countries and their impacts on health relate to population vulnerability and type of flood event. Access to safe water and sanitation can be jeopardized and disease outbreaks can occur by contaminated drinking water, due to flooding and related displacement especially Hepatitis A and E infections which are transmitted by the fecal-oral route. Aims And Objectives: The objective of this study was to know the incidence of viral hepatitis infection ( A and E) in flood victims from villages adjoining Tiruporur and Guduvanchery in Chennai in patients who were clinically suspected to have hepatitis, association of faeco-oral route of hepatitis virus infection with clinical features and emphasis on prevention by the provision of Hepatitis A vaccine.
Materials And Methods: After getting approval from Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC 236), this study was done in Shri Sathya Medical College & Research Institute , Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu with sample size of 100 patients. Patients coming to our hospital after Dec first week, 2015 (post floods) with symptoms such as fever, jaundice , loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal symptoms, occupation , history of febrile episodes and
duration, loss of appetite, high-coloured urine, loose stools, H/o travel, h/o outside food intake , H/o stay in flood-relief camps, were included in the study. Those patients who came to our hospital before Dec first week, 2015 were excluded from the study. Patients were subjected to appropriate lab investigations such as serum bilirubin , liver enzymes and ultrasound abdomen for hepatomegaly along with clinical correlation to confirm the diagnosis of hepatitis. ELISA for viral hepatitis serological markers (IgM antibodies to Hepatitis A and Hep E ) was done using validated commercial kits.
Results: 5 patients tested positive for Hep A (1 child aged 4 years and rest were adults). There were no Hep E positive samples.
Conclusion: Our study emphasizes that immunisation must be the prerogative and awareness about faeco- oral contamination of food and water during floods must be spread among the people in order to avoid further health hazards especially due to Hepatitis A.

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