Japanese encephalitis claim seven lives in Assam


Guwahati: Seven people died of Japanese encephalitis (JE) in Assam in the last eight days, following which the government on Friday directed all districts to keep a close watch on the situation.

Altogether 74 cases of JE have been detected in the state since July 1, including 25 on Friday, the National Health Mission (NHM), Assam, said in a statement.

Two JE deaths were also recorded during the day, taking the toll from July 1 to seven, it said.

The state annually records a surge in JE cases, which are transmitted by infected mosquitoes, during this time.

“In this regard, all medical colleges and hospitals have been communicated for the arrangement of dedicated ICU beds for AES/JE cases,” it said.

Community Medicine Departments of zonal medical colleges have been asked to support inoculation teams to control JE/ Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) cases.

A seven-point directive has been issued to all districts for the management of JE/AES cases, the statement said.

Among these are arranging separate wards with dedicated ICU beds and oxygen beds in all district hospitals, and mandatory procedural sample collection by specialist doctors with all aseptic precautions.

Transportation of suspected as well as confirmed AES/JE cases have to be done in an ambulance with a life support system and it has to be arranged by the referring hospital. Besides, cases have to be identified and verified through the due medical process, the statement said.

A state control room with a toll-free number 104 has been set up, while all districts have been asked to set up similar helplines.

District Rapid Response Teams are to be notified, and the teams have to analyse each AES case and identify gaps in management and submit weekly reports to the state headquarter.

Further, special district task force meetings will be conducted in all districts and the reports of these meetings will be submitted to the state head office of NHM in Guwahati, the statement said.

At least 40 deaths due to JE were reported in the state last year, officials said. PTI SSG SOM SOM