Guwahati: Bringing more misery to Assam which is burdened underneath the double whammy of COVID-19 and floods, Japanese Encephalitis has once again reared its head in Assam. 29 people have lost their lives in the state due to the dangerous disease until July 25. Additionally, the old nuisance of malaria has resurfaced once again, killing 2 persons in the state.
According to the data revealed by National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) Assam, as many as 220 malaria cases, 199 JE cases and 19 dengue cases have been reported in Assam till July 25.
However, this year's situation is not as dire as some previous years when these vector-borne disease would leave a trail of death across the state. During the same period in 2019, the respective numbers were much higher - 432 malaria cases, 44 dengue cases and 529 Japanese Encephalitis cases. In 2019, 119 people died due to JE and 3 people due to malaria.
Meanwhile, the second phase of the Assam Community Surveillance Programme (ACSP) is also underway across the state. The programme aims to carry out ground-level surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections, influenza-like illness, fever cases along with vector-borne diseases like dengue, malaria, JE, etc, and to do testing of all such cases by taking all the necessary steps. The ACSP phase II has covered a total of 29,918 villages and detected 41 cases of severe acute respiratory infections along with 2,072 cases of influenza-like illness till July 25.
Reviewing the status of JE and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in the state, Assam Health and Family Welfare Department Commissioner and Secretary, Monalisa Goswami instructed the concerned officials to keep all laboratories functional with adequate Elisa reader and washer. Combined with a strong monitoring and supervision system, she said there is a need for rigorous awareness, especially in the state's tea garden areas.