Japanese Encephalitis in Assam is posing a bigger threat this season as the number of deaths reached 16 in the month of June.
With three more fatalities of Japanese Encephalitis, the toll touched 16 on Wednesday (July 13) in the last 24 hours. According to National Health Mission, Assam bulletin issued on Wednesday evening, two deaths were reported from Karimganj while one was reported from Sivasagar.
Moreover, six more JE cases were confirmed in the state yesterday, taking the cumulative total since July 1 to 121. Health department officials said July is the peak time for JE in Assam and the prolonged floods have made vast parts of rural Assam fertile breeding grounds for Culex Vishnui mosquitoes.
A review meeting on the JE and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) situation in Assam was held at the NHM Assam headquarters on Wednesday under the chairmanship of state health minister Keshab Mahanta in the presence of principal secretary of the health department, Avinash Joshi, MS Lakshmi Priya, mission director, NHM Assam, Anup Kumar Barman, director of medical education and other senior officials of the health department. Mahanta is scheduled to have a detailed district wise review on Thursday.
Sources in the health department said the meeting emphasized early diagnosis of suspected JE cases and treatment on the lines of JE even before confirmation. “The district hospitals that have ICU are being instructed to reserve beds for JE patients,” the source said.
Health officials said that mostly rural areas that still remain flooded and located close to paddy fields, where pig-rearing is rampant, are affected by JE. “Pig is the amplifying host of the JE virus, while wild birds are considered the reservoir host for the virus,” an official said.