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  India   All India  01 Jul 2019  Govt sends team to Assam after encephalitis scare

Govt sends team to Assam after encephalitis scare

THE ASIAN AGE. | MANOJ ANAND
Published : Jul 1, 2019, 3:31 am IST
Updated : Jul 1, 2019, 3:31 am IST

The Japanese encephalitis has claimed seven lives so far and at least 24 positive cases had already been detected in Assam.

Assam has recorded very high death tolls because of  vector-borne diseases like Japanese encephalitis and acute encephalitis syndrome in the  past few years. (Photo: PTI)
 Assam has recorded very high death tolls because of vector-borne diseases like Japanese encephalitis and acute encephalitis syndrome in the past few years. (Photo: PTI)

Guwahati: Bogged down by casualties of children in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, the Union ministry of health and family welfare has dispatched a Central team to review the spread of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) situation in Assam.

The Japanese encephalitis has claimed seven lives so far and at least 24 positive cases had already been detected in Assam.

 

Though, Japanese encephalitis (JE) and acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) are not that acute in Assam, detection of at least 200 AES cases has set the alarm bell ringing for the government. Assam has recorded very high death tolls because of vector-borne diseases like JE and AES in the past few years.

While directing the Central team, led by Sanjeeva Kumar, additional secretary, ministry of health and family welfare, to extend all necessary help to the state, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said, “I am closely monitoring the situation. The ministry is co-ordinating with the government of Assam for prevention and management of JE in the state to ensure that the cases don’t rise.”

 

The health ministry has already included all 27 districts of Assam to cover under JE vaccination campaign (for 1-15 years) followed by routine immunisation as part of immunisation programme.

Moreover, 10 high endemic districts of Assam — Shivsagar Barpeta, Naga-on, Sonitpur, Darrang, Udalguri, Bongaigaon, Cachar, Morigaon, Nalbari — have been included under the multipronged strategy for prevention and control of JE. These districts have also been covered under adult JE vaccination campaign.

The Union health ministry in a statement stated,. “Out of 10 high burdened districts, funds have been provided for establishment of seven pediatric ICU. Of these, 4 pediatric ICUs have already been made functional.”

 

The ministry has also identified 28 sentinel surveillance hospitals so far for the diagnosis of JE and providing diagnostic kits to the state free of cost.

The ministry in the statement pointed out that for rehabilitation of JE disabled patients, the Central government has provided funds for strengthening of two physical medicine and rehabilitation departments at Dibrugarh Medical College and Guwahati Medical College.

Japanese encephalitis is vector-borne encephalitis transmitted by Culex groups of mosquitoes.

These mosquitoes breed mainly in rice fields and large water bodies rich in aquatic vegetation. Migratory birds along with pigs in the community play an important role in the transmission of JE from one area to other areas.

 

Tags: japanese encephalitis, harsh vardhan
Location: India, Assam, Guwahati (Gauhati)