The district health authorities in Dhubri are on alert following detection of 20 cases of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and 55 cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) across the district.
Dr. S M Imdadullah, joint director of health services, Dhubri, on Saturday confirmed death of eight persons including one minor due to AES while JE has claimed one life so far in the district.
Hasem Ali, aged 62 years, a resident of Fakirganj area of South Salmara Mankachar district (undivided Dhubri district), was suffering from Japanese Encephalitis and had undergone treatment at GNRC, Guwahati on July 5.
He returned home after 10-12 days of treatment, but died on July 18.
“Out of remaining 19 suspected cases of JE, seven patients including three children have been admitted to Dhubri Civil Hospital, out of which three cases have so far been found positive with JE virus,” Dr. Imdadullah said.
“The others are undergoing treatment at different hospitals including Guwahati Medical College & Hospital,” he added.
Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee, district surveillance officer, Dhubri said the district health department is continuously organizing awareness programmes and taking other measures to deal with the vector-borne diseases across the district.
The health authorities have asked the people to immediately shift any person affected by prolonged high fever, severe headache or nausea, vomiting, shivering, mental status changes and disorientation to the nearest health centre.
The district health authorities have also advised the people of the district to use mosquito nets, said Dr. Bhattacharjee.
The disease is an infection of the brain caused by Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV).
While most infections result in little or no symptoms, occasional inflammation of the brain occurs. Symptoms may include headache, vomiting, fever, confusion and seizures.
This occurs about 5-15 days after the infection.
JEV is generally spread by mosquitoes, specifically those of the Culex type.
Pigs and wild birds serve as a reservoir for the virus.
“Prevention is generally with the vaccine, which is both safe and effective. Other measures include avoiding mosquito bites. Once infected, there is no specific treatment, with care being supportive,” Bhattacharjee added.