GUWAHATI, April 29: Japanese encephalitis (JE) has been taking a heavy toll on Assam – the worst ever in the country. Even as the death toll by this vector-borne disease in the State keeps on falling since 2014, the State is still the leader in the country when the number of people claimed by this disease is taken into consideration.
According to statics made available by the Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Delhi, till December 24, 2017 JE claimed as many as 88 lives in Assam, the highest in the country – followed by Uttar Pradesh with a toll of 80 and West Bengal with 34.
Death tolls by this vector-borne disease in Assam have been maintaining a falling trend since 2014. The State has, however, been leading rest of the States in the country in the number people die every year because of this disease.
The death toll by JE in the State was 134 in 2013, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 47. The death toll rose to 165 in 2014, and then keeps falling – 135 in 2015 and 92 in 2016. The death tolls immediately following Assam by the disease elsewhere in the country in 2014, 2015 and 2016 were 78 in West Bengal, 75 in West Bengal and 73 in Uttar Pradesh respectively.
The situation in the State in case of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) is no better either. In 2017 till December 24 as many as 178 people died of this vector-borne disease, the second highest toll in the country. The highest toll was 590 in Uttar Pradesh during that period. In 2016 the death toll by AES in Assam was 187, next to only Uttar Pradesh with 621 and 256 in West Bengal. In the 2015 the death toll by this disease in Assam was 260, next to Uttar Pradesh with a toll of 479 and West Bengal with 351.