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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Japanese Encephalitis alert in Meghalaya - Promed Report

Published Date: 2015-08-19 20:14:24
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Japanese encephalitis & other - India (11): (ML) 
Archive Number: 20150819.3590146
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Tue 18 Aug 2015
Source: Mid Day via Google Alerts [edited]

Meghalaya has sounded an alert for Japanese encephalitis [JE] after 3 people died of the disease and another 6 were tested positive for the virus, an official said on Tuesday [18 Aug 2015].

"We have sounded a health alert in the state after 3 people died of Japanese encephalitis and 6 people were tested for the virus," Director of Health Services R. Wankhar said.

State Health and Family Welfare Minister Alexander Hek, after a meeting with medical officials, said the government has taken steps to contain the spread of the virus. Health officials will also undertake fogging in various localities to tackle _Culex_ mosquitoes, which are responsible for the outbreak of Japanese encephalitis, and their breeding grounds.

"We have directed the hospital authorities to provide adequate treatment and medicines to those suffering from the disease," Hek said.

Encephalitis results in inflammation of the brain, affecting the patient's central nervous system. It is caused by bacterial or viral infections of the brain, injection of toxic substances, or increased complications of an infectious disease. 

While the lesser symptoms include headache and fever, the more severe ones cause seizures, confusion, disorientation, tremors, and hallucinations. Japanese encephalitis syndrome is [caused by] a mosquito-borne virus. While humans are the dead-end hosts of the virus, pigs act as amplifying hosts that aid in spread of the virus.

Communicated by:

[The 3 cases mentioned above are doubtless the same 3 that were reported on 15 Aug 2015 (ProMED-mail archive no. 20150815.3581103), but the other 6 positive cases are new, suggesting that JE virus infections are a bit more frequent than earlier indicated. There have been numerous JE cases in northeastern India again in 2015. Since this area is in the JE virus endemic area, with human cases occurring every year, these additional cases are not surprising.

Maps of India can be seen at http://www.mapsofindia.com/images2/india-map.jpg and http://healthmap.org/promed/p/306, and a HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at http://healthmap.org/promed/p/319. - Mod.TY]

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