49 Japanese Encephalitis deaths in Assam this year: Minister

first_imgOne hundred and ninety positive cases of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) have been reported and 49 people have died of the vector-borne disease in Assam since January last, Health Minister of the State Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.Given the gravity of the situation, the government had put on hold leaves for all doctors and paramedical staff while providing a special incentive of Rs. 5 per blood slide for surveillance workers to intensify testing of blood serum, he said.“Assam is an ecologically favourable region for the spread of JE due to heavy rainfall, large paddy fields and water bodies and pig farming almost throughout the State. Pigs act as amplifying host for the JE virus transmitted through culex mosquito, as do wading birds such as herons and egrets,” Mr. Sarma said.Of the State’s 33 districts, only Kokrajhar is unaffected by JE.The Minister said the government had put in place several measures to combat JE. These include providing Elisa kits in all district hospitals and medical colleges; intensifying fogging, with 1,094 villages having been covered till date; and reserving certain number of beds in intensive care units and wards of all hospitals for patients with JE and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome.last_img