BISWANATH CHARIALI, Aug 24 � Encephalitis has created havoc in the entire Sonitpur district and the State Health Department has failed to check the menace.
According to information received from the Health Department, at least 294 people have been affected so far in the district and 15 have lost their lives in this fatal disease. The people who lost their lives were Uma Nayak (13), Dipen Khandal (12) and Kasturi Sona (02) under Biswanath Chariali PHC, Binod Chetri (33), Karisma Goswami (19), Ratul Malodas (11), Anjali Bejbaruah (28), Ramanand Shah (52) under North Jamuguri PHC, Shahin Haque (11 months), Pabina Begum (31) and Anjali Das (22) under Bihaguri PHC, Susmita Boro (5), Anup Bhengra (55), Ijadipta Tumcheng (16) under Balipara PHC and Iajia Ali (25) of Dhekiajuli. The disease has particularly spread in the tea garden areas of Biswanath subdivision, the Assam-Arunachal border areas of Behali, Borgang and Gohpur, Sootea, Jamuguri, Itakhola etc. Lack of pure drinking water facility, lack of awareness among the people, no use of mosquito nets, etc are the main reason behind the large-scale spread of the disease. Meanwhile, Dr Bizut Hazarika, SDMO (in-charge) Biswanath told The Assam Tribune that the department had taken necessary steps such as distribution of medicated mosquito nets, collection of blood samples and holding awareness programmes in the affected areas of the subdivision to put a curb on it.