Caped Crusader

Only 1/2 the story; CNN can do better

In Educate before you Vaccinate on February 20, 2009 at 10:14 am

CNN just had this on their ticker ..

So I logged on and wanted to know more about it. This is the article on CNN:

By Harmeet Shah Singh

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) — Twenty-nine people have died in a hepatitis B outbreak in western India over the past two weeks, officials said Friday.

Malayappan Thennarasan, the top administrative official of Gujarat state’s Sabarkantha district, described the disease as a “mutant, virulent form” of hepatitis B.

Health officials have launched an awareness campaign in the district, Thennarasan added.”

How pathetic. Great reporting. No mention on the source or that Hep B is not a fatal disease. I’m not a medical reporter or a doctor, but I KNOW Hep B is not deadly. The method of transmission is not casual and can only be spread through unprotected sex or sharing dirty needles.

I did a little digging (basically clicked the next source on a Google search) and this is a man made epidemic.. dirty needles.. Idiot Dr.s who infected people. First prize to you, Harmeet. I guess if you this piece was balanced it would be as sensational, would it?

In one of India’s worst Hepatitis B outbreak, nearly 30 people have died in Gujarat’s Modasa district. Significantly, a local resident said, people are dropping like flies.

But the most tragic part is that it is totally man made. The government has alleged that private doctors used infected syringes over an again.

There is rising anger in Modasa as more people succumb to the Hepatitis B outbreak.

Activist Mahendra Patel says: “Now we are sure that the virus spread from multiple use of injections and doctors in the town are to be blamed for it. But strong actions are not being initiated against them while the number of deaths are rising.”

Under pressure, the police moved in and arrested two doctors. Seven hospitals including one run by Dr Govind Patel have been named in the FIR. They have been charged with multiple use of syringes.

Another accused, Dr Rakesh Patel, is now locked up at the Modasa police station. NDTV visited all 7 hospitals named in the FIR but despite repeated attempts, no one was willing to speak.

Sabarkantha district police officials say they have arrested one doctor and more arrests are likely, though local people say it is not enough.

Councillor Shamim Bano says: “There is no treatment, people are dying like flies.”

Abdul Majid lost his wife, brother and 13-year-old son to the epidemic in a week.

“My son fell ill 5 days ago. We took him to a local doctor. Tests were conducted, but there was no treatment in Modasa and we took him to Ahmedabad. Today, I have brought him back dead,” he says.

Liver specialists say Hepatitis B itself is not usually fatal but when there is a co-infection of Hepatitis D, death is possible. Modasa needs quick attention if the epidemic is to be brought under control.


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