Japanese encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes, particularly Culex species Credit: File image

Guwahati: The outbreak of Japanese encephalitis has taken a turn for the worse with 49 deaths and 190 cases of the viral disease reported from all districts, except Kokrajhar, in the state till July 5.

Addressing a press conference in Guwahati on Saturday, health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that preventive measures are being taken to control the outbreak.

The health department’s ‘fear surveillance network’, comprising multipurpose workers, malarial technical supervisors and accredited social health activists, has been instructed to collect blood samples.

The state government has also made arrangements for free transportation of suspected fever cases from the community to the district hospital, while reserving beds in intensive care units and wards for patients suffering from the disease.

As per Sarma, the government also bear the cost of diagnosis and treatment.

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Meanwhile, ‘Elisa kits’ have been distributed in all district hospitals and medical colleges for detection of the virus. Intensified fogging operations are also being carried out in affected areas. “A total of 1,094 villages have been covered under the operation so far,” Sarma said.

Leave of all doctors and para-medical staff, including surveillance workers (SW), have been put on hold, Sarma announced. “Any emergency leave will be granted only with the prior approval of the deputy commissioner,” he added.

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