India: Mystery viral disease strikes village in Jammu and Kashmir, 130 mostly young children ill – 100413 2115z


A viral disease is believed to have hit Kambar village in the Rafiabad area ofBaramulla_district (Jammu and Kashmir) after around 130 people most of them children in the age group of 2-12 years fell sick during the past 3 days.


These patients had been diagnosed with fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea and even some had redness in eyes.”The symptoms seem of some viral disease, however, actual cause of the sickness can be determined only through various investigations,” said a medical officer on the spot. Around 12 patients in the age group of 5-10 were admitted in the Baramulla district hospital for specialized treatment and their condition is stated to be stable. “We have received 12 patients with fever some of them also complaining of abdominal pain and few had redness in eyes. They are all stable now,” said Bashir Ahmad Chalkoo, Medical Superintendent, District Hospital Baramulla. The incident has caused panic not only in Kamber village where around 130 people are diagnosed with the disease but also in several adjacent villages.


The entire village of Kamber is worried over the sickness of children. The locals claim that if it is a viral disease why most of the patients are children. According to reports around 50 sick children are studying in Government Middle School Kamber, while some of the children belong to the local ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) Centre. Locals claim that the mid-day meals provided in the school were adulterated (contaminated) and can be the cause of sickness of their children. However, chief education officer termed the allegation baseless. “If mid-day meals is the cause then why entire village is in the grip of disease. Not only children attending government schools but scores of other children in the village have also fallen sick,” said Rouf Ahmad, Chief Education Officer Baramulla. Meanwhile, medical teams from directorate of health services and district hospital Baramulla rushed to the spot to provide medical aid to the patients. “A team of integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) has also reached the spot and collected water samples to determine the cause of disease. The department of food safety has also collected food samples from the local ICDS centre and school,” said chief medical officer Baramulla, Dr Abdul Rashid. Senior PDP (People’s Democratic Party) leader and former minister Muhammad Dillawar Mir has demanded an enquiry into the outbreak of the viral disease and fixing responsibility for the same.


Wednesday, 10 April, 2013 at 15:40 (03:40 PM) UTC RSOE


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