MANGALDAI/TEZPUR, July 23 � The number of people killed due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in Darrang has shot up to seven. The total number of confirmed JE cases has also escalated to 26. According to sources in the district unit of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme under the Health Department here, confirmed cases of JE have been reported from about 20 villages so far, mostly under the Sipajhar and Pathorighat Primary Health Centres.
Out of the seven death cases which have been recorded since June 28, JE has claimed five lives, while Acute Meningo Encephalitis (AES) has reportedly claimed the other two. The number of death and affected cases is likely to increase as Health officials and workers are finding fresh cases across the district almost every day. Though the State Health Department did not earlier identify Darrang as a JE-prone district to conduct an adult vaccination drive, the recent alarming outbreak of the deadly disease has compelled it to carry out an adult vaccination programme in the district which started in the affected areas on Tuesday.
It may be mentioned here that mass JE vaccination for children in the age group of one to 15 years has reportedly been carried out in the district, covering a population of 2.54 lakh against the target of 2.84 lakh. However, surprisingly, in the recent list of confirmed JE cases, four children between 18 months and 12 years have been included.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis in Sonitpur district has gone up to five. The number of persons affected by this mosquito-borne disease has also gone up to 20. Sixty people have reportedly been suffering from JE symptoms.
According to official sources in the Health Department, two patients under the Bihaguri Health Centre and three patients under the Rangapara Health Centre died due to Japanese Encephalitis. The district administration and the Health Department have come up with a plan to curb the disease. The Malaria Department, along with the municipal board and town committee, has already launched an awareness campaign among the people about Japanese Encephalitis and its preventive measures. Fogging has been carried out in the areas affected by Japanese Encephalitis. The areas of Sonitpur district in which fogging has been carried out include Ulubari and Naharbari under the Bihaguri Health Centre, the southern parts of Tezpur town like Napam, Dikoraijan (Balipara), North Jamuguri, Kusumtola, Khanaguri of Jamuguri, Ward No. 5 and No. 9, Bhuyapara, Medhipara of Dhekiajuli, Naharani and Dulapadung of Rangapara, Lehugaon and Tengabari of Biswanath Chariali, Dubia and Rajabari of Gohpur, etc.