News & Information From Northeast India

Japanese Encephalitis spreads in Assam, central team reviews situation

The Union Health Ministry has sent a team to Assam after 21 people died across the state due to Japanese Encephalitis, an official said on Monday.

The central team, headed by Additional Secretary Sanjeeva Kumar and senior officers from the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, is reviewing the situation.

“A total of 69 cases of JE are reported out of which 21 deaths have taken place in past three months. Most of the JE cases have taken places in Upper Assam districts. The overall situation is under control but we are monitoring the situation for two crucial months, July and August, which are still left,” Sanjeeva Kumar said.

Noting that the child vaccine programme has gone up by 18 per cent, he said that there is a need to boost the adult vaccine programme too.

“Cases have been reported from 20 districts so far. Jorhat and Kamrup have reported the maximum,” a health official said, adding that the situation was under control and there was nothing to panic.

Last year, Assam had registered 94 JE deaths and 509 positive cases.

“The problem with JE is that there is no specific treatment, though it is preventable,” a health official said.

The official said fogging operations are being carried at affected areas and the medical and para-medical staff are trained to handle the cases.

“We have also stepped up fever surveillance. People affected by fever are being brought to hospitals for tests in 108 vehicles. ICU beds are also being earmarked in hospitals to handle JE cases. Diagnostics kits are also being made available wherever required,” the official said.

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