Assam: Japanese Encephalitis claims 38 lives, infects 251-thip



Guwahati, July 22 (IANS) At least 38 people died of Japanese Encephalitis in Assam in the last three weeks while 251 were infected, prompting the Health Department to undertake various measures to deal with the disease, officials said on Friday.

A fresh death was reported from Biswanath district on Friday.

According to the National Health Mission (NHM), since July 1, at least 38 people have died after being infected by the vector-borne disease in more than 20 of the state’s 35 districts.

On the direction of the NHM authorities, District Rapid Response Teams were constituted to keep a close watch on the situation and to take preventive measures.

Japanese Encephalitis and malaria kill many people in Assam every year, specifically during the monsoon season that usually starts in May and stretches to October.

Principal Secretary, Health, Avinash Joshi and NHM Director M.S. Lakshmi Priya are in close touch with the district authorities and asked them to remain pro-active to deal with the situation.

The NHM has also issued a standard operating procedure and guidelines to tackle the situation arising with the outbreak and health workers have been conducting a massive awareness campaign against the disease.

Last year, at least 40 deaths were reported due to Japanese Encephalitis, officials said. Japanese Encephalitis is transmitted by infected mosquitoes mainly during the monsoon.

–IANS

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