Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Suspects of Japanese Encephalitis surface, health department on toes

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 several cases of JE have come to the light forcing the health officials here to remain vigilant and pursue its cleaning drive on war-footing in the worst malaria affected areas.

JE is a disease caused by a flavivirus. It is transmitted by mosquitoes and, in humans causes inflammation of the membranes around the brain.

Most JE virus infections are mild (fever and headache) or without apparent symptoms, but approximately 1 in 200 infections results in severe disease characterized by rapid onset of high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, seizures, spastic paralysis and death.

According to the reports, three JE cases have come to the light but health officials are not ready to confirm the same, as yet. �We are waiting for the records to reach civil surgeon�s office,� said an official when asked about the casualty toll.

The civil surgeon�s office has however said that along with Ranchi and Gaya (in Bihar) JE cases in considerable number have come to the notice, here. The National Institute of Virology, (NIV-Pune) team that carried larva samples of the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes for study has confirmed presence of JE viral disease.

The National Communicable Disease Center, Delhi and School of Tropical Medicines-Kolkata, had confirmed the presence of dengue and chikungunya, following study of the blood samples of the viral fever affected patients, recently.

�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.

�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. The figure rose to 15,000 in 2011, mostly from chikungunya and dengue, with one death 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. In 2013, so far there has been no death due to either Japanese Encephalitis, dengue or chikungunya.

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