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Encephalitis deaths add to post-flood worries in Assam

A couple brings their wet cloths from their marooned house in Silchar town in Cachar district of Assam on 30 June 2022.

A couple brings their wet cloths from their marooned house in Silchar town in Cachar district of Assam on 30 June 2022. | Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR


Japanese encephalitis has killed six people in Assam since April when floods and rain-induced landslides struck the State to claim 186 lives so far.

According to the office of the Mission Director of the National Health Mission (NHM) Assam, the six were among 48 Japanese encephalitis cases reported from April to July 6. While two persons died in Jorhat district, a person each died in Kamrup, Lakhimpur, Nagaon and Dhemaji districts.

“With the floodwaters receding and inmates of relief camps returning to their houses, consumption of contaminated drinking water and subsequent health issues have been reported from some pockets in the districts. The district health teams have been instructed to intensify the monitoring and timely reporting of cases of fever for follow-up and action,” M.S. Lakshmi Priya, NHM Assam’s Mission Director said.

Tests for Japanese encephalitis are available free of cost in all district hospitals and government medical college and hospitals, she added.

The instruction followed a meeting on Wednesday to review steps undertaken to check the spread of water-borne and vector-borne diseases.

Apart from Japanese encephalitis, acute encephalitis syndrome has killed 16 people this year, health officials said. They were among 143 cases reported so far. A total of 19 dengue cases has also been reported to date.

Acute encephalitis syndrome is most widely caused by the Japanese encephalitis virus carried by mosquitoes.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority said the flood situation eased considerably with the number of affected people declining from 4.26 lakh to 3.75 lakh in the last 24 hours.

There are now 1.35 lakh people taking shelter in 295 relief camps across 20 flood-affected districts compared with 1.48-lakh people 24 hours ago, the spokesperson said.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 12:53:07 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/encephalitis-deaths-add-to-post-flood-worries-in-assam/article65608737.ece