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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Japanese Encephalitis cases in Gaya, Bihar

Published Date: 2015-09-17 12:12:33
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Japanese encephalitis & other - India (14): (BR) 
Archive Number: 20150917.3651976
A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Wed 16 Sep 2015
Source: The Times of India (TOI), Times News Network (TNN) [edited]

Notwithstanding claims of mass immunisation for acute encephalitis syndrome [AES] including the more deadly Japanese encephalitis [JE], at least 6 deaths have been reported. Another 21 patients suffering from the deadly disease are undergoing treatment in the children ward of the Anugrah Narain Magadh Medical College and Hospital [ANMMCH, in Gaya, Bihar].

With encephalitis cases reported from Fatehpur, Atri, and Manpur areas of the district [Gaya], the deadly disease threatens to take an epidemic form. Almost all the victims belong to the marginalised sections of the society. More deaths cannot be ruled out, as being poor, a sizeable number of affected people die at the hands of the quacks and faith healers.

Confirming 6 deaths, civil surgeon Dr Krishna Mohan Purvey said that 3 of the victims hail from Gaya district while the other 3 are from neighbouring areas including Aurangabad. The civil surgeon claimed that preventive steps have been taken in the affected areas through fogging and awareness creation. Surveillance has been stepped up and Asha workers have been galvanised to maintain surveillance and counsel affected families.

Giving break up of the encephalitis patients undergoing treatment in the ANMMCH, the civil surgeon said that of the 21 cases testing positive [for what? - Mod.TY], 2 cases have been confirmed as those of Japanese encephalitis [virus infections].

The remaining 19 are cases of acute encephalitis syndrome. Symptoms for both AES and Japanese encephalitis are more or less the same and as such, clinical diagnosis was not possible. The cases are confirmed only after proper [laboratory] test. The civil surgeon claimed that test kits were available in adequate numbers.

RTI [Right to Information Act] activist Brajnandan Pathak has demanded development of specialised infrastructure for encephalitis management and rehabilitation. Even the survivors, in many cases suffer permanent physical disability and mental retardation necessitating rehabilitation.

Encephalitis, it may be recalled, has been hitting the area with annual frequency and as such, a comprehensive solution is required. Visits of central and state level teams have become ritualistic and the more than a decade long menace has not been effectively contained.

[Byline: Abdul Qadir]

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