MALKANGIRI : Japanese Encephalitis toll in Malkangiri rose to 36 with the death of two more children on Wednesday night. They are one-year-old Bisakha Podiami of Karshakguda and two-year-old Liza Halwa of Danguda, both the villages under Korukonda block limits. They were undergoing treatment at the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH).
The district administration has intensified awareness drives in the villages and the BSF jawans are undertaking fogging in the affected areas. Collector K Sudarshan Chakravarthy said the death toll and number of affected children due to Japanese Encephalitis will come down and the chances of the disease spreading its tentacles to newer areas are very less as awareness drives have been intensified.
Claiming that the situation was under control, Chakravarthy said all efforts are being made to contain the disease. While PRI members and BDOs have been pressed into service, 60 new beds were added to the paediatric ward in the DHH. While 57 machines have been provided in the villages to carry out fogging at regular intervals, 2,500 mosquito nets have been supplied to people in the affected areas. Since pigs are the host and carriers of the virus, the administration has begun isolation of the animals which are being shifted from areas close to human habitations to the enclosures at least 4 km away. The enclosures are being built from NREGS funds and the villagers, who are engaged, will be paid to guard the pigpens. The district administration also has been asked to complete the shifting of pigs within the next few days and ensure that no sale of pig is allowed in any village as it may act as a source of infection from one area to another.
A nodal officer has been appointed for each panchayat and a total of 19 squads have been engaged in conducting awareness drives in every affected village as a preventive measure. The disease has claimed 36 lives so far and 37 children are suffering from it.
As many as 33 villages across the district are affected by Japanese Encephalitis. Six specialists from Bhubaneswar followed by four from Berhampur, four staff nurses from Nabarangpur and five from Koraput have been engaged in Koraput DHH to look after the affected children.
Nine new doctors will join the DHH soon, the Collector said. On Wednesday, four more children had succumbed to the disease.