Jamshedpur: Japanese Encephalitis, (JE) the viral disease caused by a flavivirus that infects animals and humans are on the rise in the city. In the last 48 hours about several cases of JE have come to the light forcing the health officials here to remain vigilant.
Sahir Pall, district officer for the Centre’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), said have come across 14 suspected cases Japanese encephalitis (JE) admitted in various hospitals, including at MGM Medical College and Hospital and Mercy Hospital beside 20 suspected cases of dengue.
“All the 14 patients having symptoms of JE are from the rural area of the district. We have the blood samples of these patents to the medical college for the test,” said Pall, adding that all the patients suffering from suspected JE are out of danger and are improving fast.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a disease spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms usually take 5-15 days to develop and include fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, and difficulty moving. Symptoms that develop later include swelling around the brain. It is a serious disease that may even cause death.
The civil surgeon’s office said that some suspected JE cases in considerable number have come to the notice, here.
“We are looking at the cases and steps are being taken to increase the surveillance across the district. Awareness is the best medicine to prevent the spread of any form of viral infection and we urge upon the people to practice, among other things, storing water scientifically in their respective places,” said a medical officer at the malaria department.
According to experts drastic change in weather conditions and fast depleting forest cover may have let the virus that hitherto confined to wild animals, prey the human beings. Unusual weather conditions seem to have triggered viral fevers on a large scale with scores of children and adult being admitted to the hospital with such complaints.
“Jusco had been carrying out spraying of anti-larvicidal chemicals and fogging under its command areas while the local urban bodies along with district filaria department have been spraying anti-larvicidal and also distributing pamphlets informing masses not to let water accumulate in unused containers and complain about clogging of drains. However, now we want to visit spots which had witnessed higher number of dengue and chikungunya cases in the past and destroy water accumulating containers in houses,’ said the official.
From district health department records, in the year 2010, over 10,000 viral cases were reported in the district in the monsoon period while there were four deaths due to dengue.
In 2012, the number of viral cases came down to 7,000 during the monsoon period. There were eight deaths from cerebral malaria. There were 22 cases of dengue and two Japanese Encephalitis cases in the same year though no death was reported in either of the cases.