Assam: Japanese Encephalitis claims 63 lives, infects 347


At least 63 people died of Japanese Encephalitis in Assam in the last 37 days while 347 were infected, prompting the Health Department to undertake various measures to deal with the disease, officials said on Saturday (August 6).

Three fresh deaths were reported from the Nagaon district on Saturday while fresh infections were reported from 10 districts including Cachar, Dibrugarh and Kamrup Metro.

According to the National Health Mission (NHM), since July 1, at least 63 people have died after being infected by the vector-borne disease in more than 22 of the state’s 35 districts.

NHM officials said that they directed the district authorities to constitute District Rapid Response Teams and accordingly, these 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 which usually starts in May and stretches to October.

Principal Secretary, Health, Avinash Joshi and NHM Director MS Lakshmi Priya are in close touch with the district authorities and asked them to remain proactive to deal with the situation.

The NHM has also issued a standard operating procedure and guidelines to tackle the situation arising from 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.