JE: Toll touches 99

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Aug 1: Four more persons succumbed to Japanese Encephalitis (JE) today, taking the toll in the State to 99 this year.

Two persons died in Kokrajhar while one each succumbed in Dhemaji and Dibrugarh districts.

The Health department said 473 JE positive cases have been detected so far.  The maximum number of deaths have been reported from Jorhat (15), followed by Sivasagar (12) and Dibrugarh (9).

Though containing the outbreak requires coordited effort by various government departments, including Social Welfare, Veteriry and Public Health Engineering, senior officials at the Health department said all were passing the buck to it.

"It seems the other departments want to shrug off their responsibilities. They expect the Health department to do it all by itself, which is not possible," the officials grumbled.

Meanwhile, the Central team, rushed by the Union Health ministry to the State, has concluded its visit. The team, which visited the affected districts in Upper Assam, is expected to submit a report to the Health ministry. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister JP dda, reviewing  the situation a few days back, had said all necessary assistance is being provided to Assam to handle this outbreak effectively.

"We are closely monitoring the situation and whatever additiol help is required, would be provided with immediate effect," he had said.

Union Health ministry officials have been in regular touch with the State Health authorities. The additiol director of the tiol Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme is camping in Assam since July 22.

The ministry has already sanctioned funds for establishment of three paediatric intensive care units (ICUs) in district hospitals in Sivasagar, Golaghat and Lakhimpur and the Health minister has advised the State government to operatiolise these ICUs immediately.

However, majority of the JE victims in Assam are adults.

Twelve districts of Assam, including Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Golaghat, have been covered under the adult vaccition campaign.

All the districts of the State have already been covered under the child (one to 15 years) vaccition campaign and routine immunisation programme.

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