83 positive cases in State so far; Death toll last year was 165; Casualties second in country after Uttar Pradesh
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, July 8: The Assam Health department has sounded an alert following detection of 86 positive cases of Japanese encephalitis (JE) which has led to twelve deaths so far this year.
An instruction was issued to all the district hospitals today to set aside five beds exclusively for JE cases. The medical colleges have been told to dedicate five ICU beds for patients suffering from the disease.
The situation was reviewed today at a meeting by senior health officials, including Principle Secretary (Health) Sanjeeva Kumar and Director Dr Rathin Bhuyan. The meeting stressed on ensuring adequate availability of medicines.
Most of the cases were reported from Kamrup district where people had stayed away from vaccition drives following rumours that it had harmful side affects.
“All the cases reported this year were those who had not administered vaccines,” said a Health official.
No cases have been reported from Karbi Anglong, Udalguri, Kokrajhar and Dima Hasao districts.
Nearly 2,000 people, mostly children, have died in Assam since 2009 because of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) and Japanese encephalitis (JE).
According to the Directorate of tiol Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, the toll in Assam, which is increasing every year, particularly since 2011, is second highest in the country after Uttar Pradesh.
In 2014, the State recorded 2194 AES cases leading to 360 deaths. JE cases last year were 761 which led to 165 deaths.
The Centre has sent Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccines to Assam to be administrated among children aged 1-15 years in 11 districts where the process could not be completed last year.
The JE vaccition for the children aged 1-15 years was carried out in 16 of the total 27 districts of Assam last year.
JE is characterised by inflammation of the brain and high fever and is a type of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).