Woman dies of jaundice in Shimla; over 800 test positive

Shimla, Jan 14 (IANS) This Himachal Pradesh capital on Thursday reported its first death due to jaundice that has gripped the city with more than 800 cases of the water-borne disease reported in the past few weeks, doctors said.

The death of the 29-year-old woman due to jaundice was reported from the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMCH) in Shimla, a doctor told IANS.

The patient belonged to Shimla town and she was shifted to the IGMCH late Wednesday in a critical condition.

The woman, who delivered a baby a few days back, was tested positive for Hepatitis E, a liver problem caused by the consumption of water contaminated by sewerage, said the doctor.

More than 800 cases of jaundice have been reported from Shimla and their number has been increasing each day, doctors said.

Shimla civic authorities suspect that mixing of sewage with the potable water has caused the spread of the water-borne disease. The state high court also took suo motu cognizance in this regard and sought a status report from the government.

Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar told IANS that effluents from the sewerage treatment plant in Malyana, located in the vicinity of the Ashwani Khud drinking water scheme, was mainly responsible for water contamination.

Panwar said the government-run treatment plant uses an outdated technology for reusing the water.

The Ashwani Khud drinking water scheme supplies water to one-third of Shimla’s population.

Most of the jaundice cases have been reported from Chotta Shimla, Panthaghati, Vikas Nagar, New Shimla and Kasumpti, a health officer said.

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