GUWAHATI, July 22 � A total 115 people have died due to encephalitis in Assam since January this year even as the Government sounded an alert and advised all health centres in the State to be on vigil, reports PTI.
While 86 died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), 29 others died due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE), joint director health (malaria) Abani Kumar Goswami said here today.
Twenty districts have been affected by the disease and the total number of people affected by AES was 408, while 157 have tested positive for JE so far, he said.
The worst hit was Sibsagar district where 34 people had died due to AES and eight of JE while the total of affected persons are 130.
The other affected districts are Sonitpur, Golaghat, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Kamrup (rural), Barpeta, Morigaon, Kamrup (metro), Darrang, Nalbari, Nagaon, Baksa, Udalguri, Dhemaji, Bongaigaon, Dhubri, Karbi Anglong and North Cachar hills, Goswami said.
Our Correspondents add: North Lakhimpur � The death of three persons including one from neighbouring Dhemaji district in Japanese encephalitis has prompted the Lakhimpur district health department to ready anti-JE vaccines to tackle the outbreak of the disease. Two persons from Lakhimpur and one from Dhemaji died of Japanese encephalitis with total reports of 51 suspected cases. Four patients out of 29 suspected of the deadly disease found positive in North Lakhimpur Civil Hospital.
Dibrugarh � At least 22 children and over hundred adults have been affected with Japanese encephalitis (JE) and are battling for life at Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH) here. Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma paid a visit to the Assam Medical College and Hospital here yesterday evening following death of 26 persons in Sivasagar district and 24 in Dibrugarh district due to JE.
A total of 258 cases including 54 children were admitted to the AMCH from June this year, out of which 79 embraced death. This month recorded highest with 158 patients being admitted at Medicine department while 39 cases were referred to the Pediatrics department of the AMCH. So far 64 adults and 15 children affected with the disease died.
Highest number of patients are coming from Sivasagar district followed by Dibrugarh district. Patients with similar case have also come from Tinsukia, Dhemaji, Jorhat, Morigaon, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and even from Arunachal Pradesh. As recorded by the medical institute, 26 among those dead were from Sivasagar district, 24 from Dibrugarh district, 7 from Tinsukia district, 2 from Golaghat district and 3 from Jorhat district.
From among the 39 cases admitted to the Paediatrics department this month, 17 cases have been detected JE positive, 14 cases JE negative while reports of three patients are awaited. From among the 39 children, at least 10 died. History of vaccination among these admitted children were reported nil.
Our Staff Reporter adds: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said the State Government was going to start a Japanese encephalitis vaccination drive covering the adult populace. As of now, the vaccination drive involves children in the age group of 1 to 15 years.
Addressing a press conference, Gogoi said that the decision was taken in view of the large number of fatalities claimed by the disease in the State. �Thirty lakh children have been vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis but we intend to cover the adult population too in the programmed,� he said.