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Japanese Encephalitis continues to wreak havoc in Assam

India TV News Desk 03 Aug 2014, 10:40:06 AM IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: Assam, one of the country's northeastern states, is battling hard to curb the increasing number of cases related to killer Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) which has claimed more than 300 lives and affected more than 2000 persons in the state.

The increase in the number of deaths due to this killer disease has questioned that laxity on the part of medical and health authorities across the state.

As of Thursday, the data provided by the concerned officials stated that Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis, a mosquito-borne viral infection, jointly claimed 349 lives.

The vector-borne AES has claimed 241 lives while Japanese Encephalitis 108 in Assam.

According to state health officials, 24 out of 27 districts have so far been affected by Japanese Encephalitis Virus. The disease has severely affected Barpeta, Nagaon, Baksa, Darrang, Sonitpur, Nalbari and Bongaigaon where such cases were not many in the previous years.

Meanwhile, the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has taken suo moto cognizance of the matter. A petition was also filed with the AHRC alleging violation of human rights by the medical and health authorities for not taking proper measures to look into the widespread of JEV.

The complainant said that a sum of Rs 365 crore was sanctioned for the year of 2013-14 for anti-JE vaccination drive but the amount was either misused or left untouched.

The Commission has served a notice to the Chief Secretary of the Assam government and asked to submit a detailed report within 30 days on the steps being taken by the state government in this regard.

In the meantime, the situation is getting worsen day by day as health officials informed that there is a huge shortage of vaccines in the state.

About Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese Encephalitis is a mosquito-borne viral infection and it cannot be transmitted from person-to-person. Children are easily affected by the disease. As many as 20 to 30 per cent of encephalitis affected people die and 50 per cent of the survivors suffer permanent brain damage.

About 50,000 cases of JEV are reported annually from China, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent.

The symptoms include high fever, headache, diarrhea, muscle pain, convulsion and neck tightness.