Bhubaneswar, Oct 2: The Odisha government has directed its officials to check the spread of Japanese Encephalitis, which claimed two more lives on Sunday taking the toll to 23 in Malkangiri district.
The vector-borne Japanese Encephalitis disease has claimed 23 lives in the last 24 days in the district, said a health department official.
With the disease having assumed epidemic proportions, Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Departmental Secretary Arti Ahuja were scheduled to visit the villages on Monday to take stock of the situation.
Nayak has directed that more teams of doctors be sent to the affected areas to contain the disease.
The Minister held an inter-departmental meeting on Saturday to review preparedness to contain the disease.
A four-member medical team from the Maharaja Krishna Chandra Gajapati (MKCG) Medical College and Hospital, Brahmapur, in Ganjam district, is already camping at the affected villages.
According to the official, Japanese Encephalitis has spread in 21 villages under six blocks of Malkangiri district.
Since the disease spreads from pigs to humans, mostly children, through mosquitoes, the government is taking steps to relocate pig farms away from the villages, said a release from the health department.
While a team of the Animal Resources Department will be sent to the affected areas, blood samples of pigs would also be collected for thorough examination, the release added.