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Japanese encephalitis kills 49 people in Assam

July 8, 2019

49 people have died in the state of Assam due to Japanese encephalitis (JE).

The leaves of doctors and paramedic staff have been cancelled by the government till 30 September and leaves can now only be availed in case of emergencies.

190 positive cases of Japanese encephalitis have been reported in Assam in 2019. All the districts in Assam are reported to be affected apart from Kokrajhar.

Himanta Biswa Sarma, state Health Minister tweeted, "7/8 4. Leaves of all doctors / para medic staff incl surv workers is canceled till Sept 30. Emergency leave only with prior approval of DC. Unauthorised absence from place of posting even after duty hours will be treated seriously amounting to criminal dereliction of duty.

JE-Japanese encephalitis is caused due to Japanese encephalitis virus or JEV. The virus is passed on to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes. The first case of JE was documented in Japan in the year 1871.

Some common milder signs of JE are fever and headache, gastrointestinal pain and vomiting in children. In severe cases the virus causes high fever, headache, stiff neck, disorientation, coma, seizures, spastic paralysis and ultimately death. Many people who survive the severe virus attack may be left with permanent intellectual, behavioral or neurological issues.

The government is making sure that the treatment and precautionary actions are taken by the concerned departments. Medical emergency service providers 108 and ambulance Service 102 have also been instructed to give preference to JE and AES patients.

"Assam is undergoing the transmission season for Japanese Encephalitis cases. A total number of 45 Japanese Encephalitis deaths have been reported till July 3, 2019, in the state," the National Health Mission (NHM) said in a statement.

Government hospitals including medical colleges and district hospitals, are offering free of cost treatment and transportation for JE and AES and those getting ICU treatment in private hospitals may apply for the a treatment allowance of up to Rs 1 lakh per patient. Control rooms have been set up to monitor the situation.



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