Physico-chemical investigation of consumables and environmental samples to determine the causative agent of liver disease outbreak in Tahitay Koraro Woreda, Tigray

Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, P. O. Box 1242, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ethiopian medical journal 04/2012; 50 Suppl 2:37-45.
Source: PubMed


The occurrence of liver disease out break of unknown origin and of a significant morbidity and mortality with a major symptom of abdominal dropsy was reported among the inhabitants of Tsaeda--Emba village, Tahtay Koraro woreda, Tigray during mid December, 2005.
The aim of this study was to assess if chemical intoxicants were the responsible agents for the outbreak in the affected locality.
The experimental approach towards the identification of the possible causative agent from the consumables and environmental samples collected from the affected village were determination of physico-chemical quality parameters and chemical analysis using instrumental and chromatographic techniques.
The intoxicant was found to stem from the consumption of the water from the unprotected well in which pyrrolizidine containing plant, Ageratum sp, abundantly thrives.
The water source was intimately linked to the outbreak of disease and, therefore, immediate intervention and preventive measures are called for.

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