At least 17 people in Sambalpur, a town in western Odhisha , have lost their lives to jaundice. Over 20 people have been diagnosed with the disease.
The official sources have confirmed that although the disease is curable the situation is pretty alarming.
Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister is concerned and will likely visit the affect area soon, the Odisha government said. A high level meeting was headed by Chief Secretary Gokul Chandra Pat. It was attended by several officials including Secretary Arati Ahuja.
The state government has taken a number of measures in order to control the spread of the disease. The health secretary, Arati Ahuja informed that the housing and urban development department has made provisions for safe drinking water in several areas affected by the disease. Free treatment for affected patients has also been announced by the government.
Ahuja also said that people may go for free check-up of their blood sample at government hospitals.
Jaundice is caused by hepatitis virus which is transmitted through contaminated water and food. Hygiene and sanitation is probably the first step to keep any kind of infectious disease at bay. Washing hands with anti-bacterial soaps before eating food and after going to the wash-room can really help in minimising the transmission of this virus.
People are advised against eating out and at unhygienic places especially during monsoons when the chances of food contamination are high. Eating fresh fruits and preferably warm foods and properly cooked vegetables is important for lowering the risk of liver infections. Vaccination is another way to avoid being infected by jaundice.