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Mafraq’s Akeider area records rise in Hepatitis A cases

By Sawsan Tabazah - Sep 26,2017 - Last updated at Sep 26,2017

AMMAN — Following a rise in Hepatitis A cases among school students in Mafraq’s Akeider area, the president of the Lower House’s Health Committee, Ibrahim Bani Hani, has called for more governmental attention to the area, which “has suffered negligence for so long”. 

The Ministry of Health has recorded 32 cases of Hepatitis A in students from the Akeider area, in Mafraq Governorate, since August 22.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus transmitted through contaminated food or water, inadequate sanitation and poor personal hygiene, the Health Ministry’s spokesperson, Hatem Azrui, told The Jordan Times. 

Bani Hani visited Akeider two months ago,  along with other officials and the Lower House’s Environmental Committee, to examine the impacts of the landfill in Akeider on the environment and the health of its citizens. 

“There is no doubt that Hepatitis A has spread in the area due to a lack of hygiene in health and public facilities,” he stated.

Mafraq health director at the Ministry of Health, Hani Oleimat, said that the disease is not epidemical and that the potential rate of infection in adults amounts to over 90 per cent. 

Incubation of the disease ranges between two weeks and one month, during which the patient suffers from fever, diarrhoea, nausea and changes in skin and eye colour, according to the World Health Organisation.

Azrui said that the ministry has conducted experiments on the water sources at schools and homes and noted that no signs of the virus were found.

He said that the disease is spread through sharing personal items like towels at public health facilities.

For his part, Bani Hani stressed that the area is lacking a health centre, which the ministry had promised to build, but noted that “no real measures were taken”.

He also said that the area suffers from other issues such as the emission of phenol gas from Akeider landfill and the increased number of stray dogs, a potential source of rabies.

Oleimat noted that since the discovery of the cases, no schools have stopped working in the area and noted that the ministry urged the school staff to direct any suspected case to the health directorate, in order to provide the infected students with a 7- to 10-day sick leave. 

 

The sickness needs no medication other than rest, Oleimat highlighted, noting that the body of the infected person naturally generates immunity against the virus.

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