Assam: Death toll due to Encephalitis rises to 12, Centre dispatches team to review situation
Guwahati, July 01: The death toll from Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Assam has reached to 12 on Sunday. Another 35 positive cases of JE have been detected so far.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday dispatched a central team to review the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) situation in view of recently reported cases in Assam and also directed the Ministry to extend all support and assistance to the state government.
"I am closely monitoring the situation. The Health Ministry is coordinating with the Assam government for the prevention and management of JE to ensure that the cases don't rise in the state," the Union Minister said in a statement.
The Central team, likely to reach Assam this evening, is headed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Additional Secretary Sanjeeva Kumar and is accompanied by the senior officers from the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme in New Delhi.
Ten high endemic districts of Assam -- Shivsagar Barpeta, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Darrang, Udalguri, Bongaigaon, Cachar, Morigaon, and Nalbari -- have been included under the multipronged strategy for the prevention and control of JE. These districts have also been covered under adult JE vaccination campaign.
Japanese Encephalitis is vector-borne encephalitis transmitted by Culex groups of mosquitoes. These mosquitoes breed mainly in rice fields and large water bodies rich in aquatic vegetation. Migratory birds and pigs play an important role in the transmission of JE from one area to the other.
And, Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is a very complex disease as it can be caused by various agents including bacteria, fungi or virus.
The acute encephalitis syndrome outbreak hit Bihar in June and has already claimed the lives of over 150 children. Muzaffarpur district has been the worst hit reporting more than 120 deaths.