MALKANGIRI : A six-member Central team on Friday visited Palkonda village under Korukonda panchayat, where the first case of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) was reported, to take stock of the situation.
Even as the team was busy surveying the reasons behind the outbreak and measures taken to check spread of the virus, the death toll due to the disease touched 60 with the death of four-year-old Muna Sagadia of Gompakonda village under Kalimela block.
The team led by Dr Kalpana Barua, Joint Director (Entomology), interacted with the families who lost their children to JE and asked them about various preventive measures being taken by the district administration. Dr Barua also inquired about the supply of mosquito nets by the administration.
Replying to queries from mediapersons, Dr Ashok Srivastav, Joint-Director (Epidemiology), said various factors are responsible for the outbreak of JE in tribal-dominated areas of Malkangiri district, which the team members including the scientists are analysing now.
The team is on the job to find out factors responsible for the spread of JE and once we confirm the positive cases, steps would be initiated accordingly, said Srivastav.On vaccination to be undertaken in the affected areas, Srivastav said it is a policy matter and both the State and Central Governments will take a final call as to when to start the vaccination drive.
Earlier, the team visited District Headquarters Hospital and spoke to kin of kids undergoing treatment in JE ward. They also enquired about the sequence of incidents before their children fell victim to JE.
The members held discussion with Chief District Medical Officer and other doctors.
The team included Dr B Patra, consultant (LHMC), Dr Mayuri Rani, Assistant Director (Microbiolgy), Dr D Bhattacharya, scientist (Virology) and Dr Sushma Choudhury (Research Scholar). The team had arrived here on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, sources said seven children are undergoing treatment in the DHH.