Health dept on toes to contain JE cases after outbreak
GUWAHATI: The state health and family welfare department as well as the district administration are on their toes to prevent the outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) which has claimed four lives in Kamrup (Metro) district so far.
Further, a total of 13 positive cases for JE have been reported in Kamrup (Metro) and officials have stepped up efforts to prevent the disease. On the other hand, the state-wide death toll stood at 48, with more than 100 positive cases being reported across the state.
Talking to G Plus, joint director of health services of Kamrup (Metro) district, Ganesh Saikia said, “We are undertaking mass fogging in affected areas and we are also conducting routine fogging in other areas of all the 31 wards in the city.”
He added that adult vaccination for the vector-borne disease will be given between December and March, as per the instruction from the government of India.
After the outbreak, a team of officials from the central health & family welfare ministry visited the state to take stock of the situation and held meetings with senior health officials.
The team reviewed the actions taken by the Assam government and assured of all required help from the centre. Further, they also asked officials to begin the adult JE vaccination from the month of December.
“Earlier the vaccination was given only in some of the districts including Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Golaghat and Tinsukia among others. Now the JE vaccination will be provided to people in all the districts of the state after the central ministry’s orders,” said Saikia.
Officials informed that they saw that a rise in the number of cases for the disease was reported from June 20 onwards.
Recently, commissioner & secretary of the health department held a video conference with the deputy commissioners of all districts to review preparedness measures and to check on the future course of action.
According to authorities, a large number of cases were reported from Sonapur and Chandrapur areas.
“The cases that are usually reported happen in those areas where pig farming takes place as pigs are carrier of the disease. We have asked the veterinary officer to identify those areas where pig farming takes place on a large scale as they remain vulnerable,” deputy commissioner, Kamrup (Metro) Biswajit Pegu told G Plus.
He added that in these areas especially, they have begun awareness programmes to create large-scale awareness about the preventive measures needed to tackle the disease.
Pegu further said that first round of fogging is already completed in Kamrup (Metro) and the second round is ongoing. In the recent round, officials informed that those areas are being targeted from where cases of Japanese Encephalitis have been recorded.
Additionally, throwing light on the preventive measures being taken to curb the number of new cases, authorities are also collecting blood samples from patients who display any symptoms related to the disease.
“Around 40,000 blood samples have been collected majorly from government hospitals since January from people who are suspected to have the disease. The sample collection has increased in the past two months,” said Pegu.
In the city, the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH) has seen the maximum number of patients coming for treatment with symptoms similar to JE. Officials said that GMCH has been treated as a referral centre by far flung districts of the state, increasing the number of patients there.
For this, the authorities are now diverting the JE cases to Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (MMCH) which is currently underutilised for treatment to ease the burden on GMCH.
As per reports, recently the state health department transferred the state officer for National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme.