Jaundice claims five lives in Rukunpur

Health experts fear more casualties if measures are not taken to control disease


Our Correspondent March 22, 2019
Rahim Yar Khan has been badly affected with jaundice that has claimed lives of several people in 2018. PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: FILE

RUKUNPUR:  

At least five people, including two women, died of jaundice after battling for their lives at different health facilities in Rukunpur area over the last 48 hours, Express News has learnt.

Reportedly, 13 patients suffering from jaundice were admitted to various hospitals for treatment. However, their condition deteriorated and they later died.

The victims included 50-year-old Allah Ditta, 55-year-old Ahmed Bakhsh, 27-year-old Bhural Khan and a 36-year-old unidentified woman.

In 2018, Rahim Yar Khan was badly hit with jaundice and the disease claimed the lives of several people. Most of the victims included adults and children.

Health experts said that if measures were not taken to control the epidemic, it could claim more lives this year. They pointed out that arsenic contamination of underground water is the leading cause behind the spread of this potentially fatal disease. They added that raising awareness and concerted prevention measures could help overcome the outbreak.

Earlier, test reports from the district’s three rural health centres, two district headquarter hospitals and Shiekh Zayed Hospital showed that 63% of the population was infected with the disease.

Jaundice is a yellow discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes, and the whites of the eyes caused by increased amounts of bilirubin in the blood. The disease mainly affects the liver. Jaundice is a sign of an underlying disease.

Bilirubin is a by-product of the daily natural breakdown and destruction of red blood cells in the body. The hemoglobin molecule that is released into the blood by this process is split, with the heme portion undergoing a chemical conversion to bilirubin. Normally, the liver metabolises and excretes the bilirubin in the form of bile. However, if there is a disruption in this normal metabolism and/or production of bilirubin, jaundice may result.

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