Japanese Encephalitis takes roots
By Express News Service | Published: 11th November 2012 10:02 AM |
The outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in Korukonda block of Malkangiri has posed a new challenge for the Health Department.
Of the 78 blood samples that the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) had collected following a series of deaths, 10 tested positive for JE and the National Institute of Virology, Pune, also confirmed the same. At least five samples turned out to be borderline cases whereas none of the samples tested positive for ‘chandipura’, ‘enterovirus’ or dengue. Earlier, three cases were found to be of measles. Over 20 persons, mostly children, have died in the block in the last three months, resembling the chilling deaths in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur.
The RMRC team found that the villages had substantial pig population while the vector ‘Culex Vishnui’ was also found in abundance. “Pigs harbour the virus and our teams found at least 500 to 600 pigs in the villages,” RMRC Director Dr SK Kar said.
JE has not taken an epidemic form since man-to-man infection is not possible. It is only when the pigs carry the virus and the mosquito population explodes that the vectors infect the deadly disease that affects the brain and claims lives. So far, about a dozen states in India have reported JE outbreak.