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General
Six die of Japanese encephalitis in Gaya, 21 more children test positive
16-09-2015

Gaya (Bihar): Notwithstanding claims of mass immunisation for Acute Encephalitis Syndrome including the more deadly Japanese Encephalitis, at least six 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.

With encephalitis cases reported from Fatehpur, Atri and Manpur areas of the district, 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 six deaths, civil surgeon Dr Krishna Mohan Purvey said that three of the victims hail from Gaya district while the other three 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 breakup of the encephalitis patients undergoing treatment in the ANMMCH, the civil surgeon said that of the 21 cases testing positive, two cases have been confirmed as those of Japanese Encephalitis.

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 test. The civil surgeon claimed that test kits were available in adequate numbers.

RTI activist Brajnandan Pathak has demanded development of specialised infrastructure for Encephalitis Mangement 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. Visit of Central and state level teams have become ritualistic and more than decade long menace has not been effectively contained.