NEW DELHI, July 25 - The Union Health Ministry today decided to rush a team of experts to Assam to assist and advise the state health authorities to deal with the outbreak of Japanese encephalitis (JE), which has claimed over 60 lives so far.
Health Minister JP Nadda who held a review meeting in this regard, said that his Ministry is closely monitoring the situation and additional help, if needed, would be provided with immediate effect.
�The Director General of Health Services has been directed to immediately rush a team of experts to Assam to assist and advise the State health authorities in clinical management of the cases,� Nadda said.
Elaborating on the steps taken by the Ministry to assist the Assam government, the Health Minister said all necessary assistance was being provided to the state of Assam to handle the outbreak effectively.
�We are closely monitoring the situation and whatever additional help is required would be provided with immediate effect. Senior officers are in regular touch with the State health authorities. Sufficient number of testing kits has already been provided to the State,� Nadda said.
The Additional Director of the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme is camping in Assam since July 22.
A Ministry statement said that 365 positive cases and 66 deaths due to JE have been reported from the State so far, while additional deaths have been reported from the upper Assam districts of Sivasagar (9), Dibrugarh (7), Jorhat (7) and Golaghat (4).
During the review meeting, it was learnt that majority of the victims were adults and 12 districts of Assam including Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Golaghat have been covered under the adult JE vaccination campaign.
All the districts of Assam have also been covered under JE child (1�15 years) vaccination campaign and routine JE immunisation programme, while cases detected are generally of those who have not been vaccinated. � PTI