Japanese encephalitis cases rise in Assam, districts to take emergency measures

Guwahati: Amid rising number of Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) and Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases in Assam, the state health department has directed all districts to take immediate measures for management of AES/JE.

Accordingly, the districts have been asked to create separate wards for management of AES/ JE cases with dedicated ICU beds, oxygen beds to be arranged in all the district hospitals.

“Procedural sample collection is mandatory for AES cases in all the district hospitals by specialist doctors with all aseptic precautions in order to avoid death while in transit or delayed referral to higher health centres,” a statement from National Health Mission (NHM), Assam, said.

The number of Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases in Assam has increased to 74 with as many as 25 fresh cases and two more deaths reported from Jorhat and Nagaon districts on Friday.

“Proper AES cases are to be identified and verified through the medical process. Each sample has to be filled up by the treating doctor as per the sample reporting format.  Transportation of suspected or confirmed cases of AES/ JE to be done in an ambulance with life support system and as per JE transportation guidelines,” the statement said.

“Transportation is to be arranged by referring hospital and information should be passed on to the referred hospital. A state control room (toll free number 104) is set up to deal with the current JE situation. Every district has been directed to set up a district control room with the phone numbers of the District Malaria Officer (DMO)/ District Surveillance Officer (DSO) which has to be puised/shared with the people for any emergency,” the statement said.

Moreover, deputy commissioners have been directed to notify a district rapid response team comprising additional deputy commissioner (health), joint director of health services, chief medical and health officer (CD), district surveillance officer, district programme manager, district malaria officer, district epidemiologist, district vector borne disease consultant and district data manager/ data entry operator

“The rapid response team has to analyse each and every AES case and identify gaps in management and submit weekly reports to state headquarters. Special district task force meetings have to be conducted in all the districts and the reports of the same have be submitted to NHM, Assam state headquarters.

It may be noted that Kamrup Metro and Sivasagar districts registered four cases each on Friday while Kamrup (Rural), Lakhimpur and Nagaon districts registered three cases each.

Golaghat, Jorhat and Morigaon districts registered two cases each, while Darrang and  Charaideo district reported one case each.

Japanese encephalitis is a viral brain infection that spread through mosquito bites.

According to official sources, the death toll this season (since July onwards) till date has also shot up to seven.

“In this regard all medical college and hospitals have been communicated for arrangement of dedicated ICU beds for AES (Acute encephalitis syndrome)/JE cases and to the community medicine department of zonal medical colleges to support IDSP, NVBDCP teams of respective districts for control of JE/AES cases,” the statement said.

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