NEET aspirant, 18, dies of hepatitis in Kota, 35 students test positive in a week

KOTA: An 18-year-old NEET aspirant from Kota’s Jawahar Nagar area has died of hepatic encephalopathy while 35 other coaching students have tested positive for hepatitis-A over the past week.
Vaibhav Roy, a native of West Bengal, died during treatment at a private hospital on Thursday. He was hospitalised on October 5 and was diagnosed with hepatic encephalopathy. His family has been living in Kota for the past several years.

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Of the 35 others, 18 students were discharged from hospitals by Friday, while 12 with mild symptoms are still under treatment at three private hospitals in Jawahar Nagar, said officials.
Kota chief medical and health officer (CMHO), Dr Jagdish Soni, on Saturday confirmed Roy’s death due to hepatitis-A infection. He added that a death audit was underway and that the actual reason for the NEET aspirant’s death would be clear only after the audit report came in.
Dr Rajiv Sharma, who treated Roy at a private hospital, said the student was admitted with fever and jaundice but within the next two days, deteriorated to hepatic encephalopathy from hepatitis viral. “The protocol for his treatment was put in place immediately, but the swelling in his brain was so severe that he could not survive,” he said.
After reports about the spread of hepatitis-A among coaching students in Jawahar Nagar emerged on October 8, a health department team under the deputy CMHO started collecting water samples from the area the next day. Of the 65 samples collected from the area, three were found to be contaminated, said the CMHO. This led the department to restrict the supply of water from a boring to coaching institutes, hostels and messes at Jawahar Nagar.
“Hepatitis-A among the coaching students was most likely caused by contaminated water and food as liver enzymes among the infected students were found to be alarmingly higher than normal, but each student under treatment is getting better,” said Dr KK Pareek.
The CMHO was directed to probe the spread and the report is yet to come.

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