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Japanese Encephalitis Deaths Climb to 57 in Assam, 26 Districts Affected

There has been a decline in the number of cases being reported in the state in comparison to the previous two weeks, the National Health Mission said in a statement.

Karishma Hasnat | News18.com

Updated:July 8, 2019, 8:22 PM IST
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Japanese Encephalitis Deaths Climb to 57 in Assam, 26 Districts Affected
File photo of a four-month-old baby suffering from Japanese Encephalitis in Jorhat.
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Guwahati: With deaths reported from Sonitpur, Baksa and Kamrup districts in the last 24 hours, the toll due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE) touched 57 on Monday.

There has been a decline in the number of cases being reported in the state in comparison to the previous two weeks, the National Health Mission (NHM) said in a statement. Till now, a total of 234 JE positive cases have been reported from 26 districts across the state.

While fogging exercises are being carried out in affected areas, district task force meetings were held on Monday with the deputy commissioners in some of the places. Kokrajhar is the only district that has not reported a single encephalitis case yet.

In Sonitpur district, six JE positive cases have been registered across five health blocks till 4pm this evening — 2 in Gohpur, one each in Howajan, Lohitmukh, North Jamuguri and Dhekiajuli. A one-and-a-half-year-old girl died in Dhekiajuli, about 33km from Tezpur town.

In Dibrugarh’s Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH), 164 Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) cases have been registered of which 70 have tested JE positive. Hospital authorities said, 35 people have died of AES and JE. A total of 218 children were admitted to AMCH of whom 61 were found to be JE positive.

“Seven children have died of whom three were suffering from JE,” said AMCH Superintendent and senior physician, Dr Indranath Chutia.

The toll in Jorhat district has increased to 7 which also includes children. “We are conducting awareness camps and fogging exercises since January. Whenever a case is detected, fogging is being carried out within 100m radius of the area. Earlier, two children aged four and seven years died of the disease,” said Dr Amrit Saikia, Joint Director of Health and Family Welfare, Jorhat.

At the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH), where patients are admitted from adjoining districts, 10 AES and 12 JE cases have been registered till now. One JE death was reported in the hospital between since June 1.

Patients from far-flung places in Kamrup district and adjoining areas are being referred to the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). The state health department on Saturday announced free diagnosis and treatment of patients in government hospitals and Rs 1,000 as transportation cost for patients in case of non-availability of ambulance services like 102 and 108.

The state government has also cancelled all leaves of doctors and para-medical staff till September 30 to effectively deal with the encephalitis breakout. NHM officials were also found to be working on Sunday at the state headquarters apart from the Control Room in GMCH.

Last year, 66 JE deaths were reported from Assam, while 165 people died in 2014, 160 in 2015 and 119 in 2017.

| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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