As many as nine locals have died and over 6,000 afflicted by hepatitis 'E' in Biratnagar Municipality.
The disease broke out two weeks ago in the town. The cause of the disease is drinking polluted water and stale food, according to doctors.
Of the sick, 80 are in critical condition while 35 are receiving treatment in intensive care unit in different hospitals, it is learnt.
Meanwhile, Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Mahesh Acharya on Thursday met with the patients and inquired about their health.
In the context of the Hepatitis E spread in the town, the Nepal Medical Association Koshi Zonal chapter organized an interaction program today and urged the government to take immediate measures to address the problem.
Locals have started thronging the health centres, clinics and hospitals for check up these days fearing that they might have contracted the disease, but the Health Ministry has not paid proper attention to this serious problem, said Dr Dipak Sigdel at the Koshi Zonal Hospital.
Hepatitis E was found in 400 of the 500 people who visited the hospital and various nursing homes for undergoing tests in the last two weeks, he said. Dr Sigdel said the government has not provided any financial support for carrying out the tests.
During the discussion, Chairman of the Association, Dr. Mahananda Mishra, said at least a member of each family in Biratnagar Sub-metropolis is affected and the situation might become complicated day by day, if the Ministry of Health does not respond seriously in time and send special teams of health workers and doctors with necessary medicines, and adopt other preventing measures.
Dr. Kailash Shrestha, Dr. Tanka Barakoti, and Dr. Narayan Kumar, among others, stressed on providing free ICU services to prevent the situation from worsening. They said if the medical services were not provided to the affected patients, it may result in the loss of many lives.
Dr. Kumar claimed the data on the number of hepatitis E patients collected by District Public Health Office, Morang, was not accurate. The office has remained indifferent towards preventing the disease, he added.
Locals said though the drinking water distributed by Nepal Water Supply Corporation was proved to be unsafe and one of the causes behind this is pollution at the water source, the administration failed to take action against the guilty.