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Outbreak investigation of epidemic dropsy in Panchmahal district of Gujarat, 2012

Alpesh shankerlal Patel, Shripad Rameshrao Kausadikar, Ranchhod Nareshbhai Nakum, Rajendra Krishnkant Baxi, Jagdish Virabhai Patel.


Background: Epidemic dropsy is food born disease. The etiological agent responsible for epidemic dropsy is sanguinarine and found in seeds of argemone mexicana. Epidemic dropsy has been reported from time to time in various parts of India. This outbreak of epidemic dropsy was reported in Panchmahal district of Gujarat in 2012.

Objectives: 1.To identify etiological agent, source of outbreak and mode of transmission.2. To propose control measures based on the outbreak investigation.

Material and method: A community based cross section study in Dholkhakhara village was carried out by rapid response team (RRT) of medical college Vadodara. Data was collected through (1) in-depth interview of cases (2) case records of government and private health facilities (3) a house to house survey of Dholkhakhara village.

Result: Attack rate of epidemic dropsy was 9.12 per 1000 population. Highest attack rate was 19.46 per 1000 population in 11-20 years of age group. Case fatality rate was 7.69%.

Conclusion: It was sudden onset; common source outbreak of epidemic dropsy. Cause of outbreak was ingestion of contaminated mustard oil with poppy seeds (argemone mexicana).

Key words: Argemone Mexicana; Case Fatality Rate; Dropsy; Outbreak

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