Riyar, Khansahib, Central Kashmir — A concerning outbreak of jaundice has unfolded in the Riyar area of Khansahib block within Budgam district. Tragically, one individual has succumbed to the illness, while seven others have tested positive for the disease.
A local health official conveyed that the reported jaundice cases in the area have totaled eight, with one fatality and the remaining seven patients in stable condition. The outbreak is believed to have been triggered by a contaminated water supply, leading to the unfortunate demise of a 10-year-old boy, Abid, son of Ab Salam, hailing from the Riyar village of Khansahib.
Dr. Mir Mushtaq, the Spokesperson for the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK), elaborated on the efforts being undertaken to address the outbreak. Surveillance and rapid response teams under the guidance of Incharge Medical Officer Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad Banday are diligently working to control the situation. The teams have been diligently screening a substantial number of individuals to identify any elevation in serum Bilirubin levels, a crucial diagnostic marker.
The Pediatrician at SDH, Khansahib, has also played a pivotal role in the response, attending to pediatric patients and conducting blood tests for disease detection. Thousands of people have undergone screenings in the area, with 1430 patients screened thus far. Out of these, 370 were assessed by pediatricians, 123 samples have been collected for jaundice investigation, 30 patients are under surveillance, 160 samples have undergone LFT testing, and 438 samples have been tested for serum bilirubin. Notably, normal readings were observed in 10 coagulogram samples, and three water samples were subjected to IDSP analysis.
The remote location, situated approximately eight kilometers from the Block Headquarters and around 26 kilometers from the District Headquarters Budgam, faces challenges in healthcare accessibility. The nearest health facility available is the PHC Riyar.
Dr. Mir Mushtaq emphasized the ongoing efforts to combat the outbreak, with ASHAs and health workers actively distributing chlorine tablets and ORS packets to residents at their doorstep. Furthermore, field staff are tirelessly educating the community on safe drinking water practices and demonstrating proper handwashing techniques. The situation is being managed effectively, but continued awareness efforts are needed to ensure tribal members adopt hygiene practices and prioritize safe water consumption, considering their customs and beliefs.”