IMPHAL, July 14 � With the official confirmation of the outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis epidemic in Manipur, the actual death toll because of the epidemic has come down to nine while around 60 have been hospitalised, according to Director of Health Services Dr Y Yaima. Earlier, Acute Encephalitis Syndrome(AES) epidemic claimed 15 lives.
The latest victim was a 80-year old woman from Thoubal Athokpam Awang Leikai village under Chief Minister O Ibobi�s constituency, sources said.
The State Health authority�s apprehension arising out of the sudden increase of rate of infection besides their inability to take up necessary measures to tackle the epidemic, has been eased after the epidemic was officially confirmed on Wednesday.
�We could take up necessary steps to combat the epidemic as it has been confirmed as Japanese Encephalitis�, Dr Yaima said. �Out of the 27 samples sent for testing, 24 have tested positive for the epidemic�.
The samples drawn from 27 patients were sent to Regional Medical Research Centre, Dibrugarh on July 6 as the State does not have a testing centre. The Health department is expecting the result of the samples sent to National Centre for Disease Control, New Delhi, by Thursday.
Since the epidemic was confirmed, a fresh look at the ongoing practice of symptomatic treatment may be required as there is no curative treatment, the Director said. Prevention is the only option, so please avoid mosquito bites, he appealed.
�It was an unfortunate tragic incident�, the officer said. �However, we are trying our best to control and prevent it�.
Meanwhile, a high level meeting of the State Health officials held here decided to intensify the awareness campaign about the epidemic through media besides taking up other preventive steps including fogging, supply of sterilised mosquito nets, etc.