Japanese Encephalitis
A Japanese Encephalitis patient being taken to hospital (File photo)

Following the report of the outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in Assam, Central government has sent a team to review the situation in the state.

Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday directed the ministry to extend all support and assistance to the state government.

“I am closely monitoring the situation. The health ministry is coordinating with the Assam government for prevention and management of JE to ensure that the cases don’t rise in the state,” a news agency quoted health minister Vardhan as saying.

He said the health ministry is providing all logistical and technical support to the state government in terms of surveillance and diagnostic kits to strengthen their efforts in addressing JE.

Minister Vardhan called upon all the stakeholders to start rigorous awareness campaigns regarding the preventive steps to be taken by the communities.

The central team is headed by additional secretary Sanjeeva Kumar and he is accompanied by the senior officers from the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, New Delhi, a health ministry statement said.

As per the directions of the health minister, the team will reach the state by Sunday evening to review the situation.

All 27 districts of Assam were covered under the JE vaccination campaign for those aged between one to 15 years followed by routine immunisation, the statement added.

Ten high endemic districts of Assam (Shivsagar Barpeta, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Darrang, Udalguri, Bongaigaon, Cachar, Morigaon, Nalbari) have been included under the multipronged strategy for prevention and control of JE.

These districts have also been covered under adult JE vaccination campaign. Out of 10 high burdened districts, funds have been provided for the establishment of seven Paediatric ICUs (PICU). Of these, four PICUs have been made functional, the statement added.

For the diagnosis of JE, till date 28 sentinel surveillance hospitals have been identified and the health ministry is providing diagnostic kits to the state free of cost, it said.

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