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Sat, 21 Sep 2019

Northeast Today

Encephalitis Death Toll Rises to 125

Encephalitis Death Toll Rises to 125
July 30
11:10 2019

NET Bureau

With the death toll from Japanese Encephalitis (JE) reaching 125, the State government on Monday said that a mass vaccination drive will be launched in Assam from November 1. Addressing the Legislative Assembly, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that rumours and falsehood spread in certain quarters connecting JE vaccination and infertility after the BJP came to the power in Assam in 2016, which affected the vaccination drive, is one of the reasons for the spread of the disease.

 Sarma said JE was mostly confined in five or six districts of Upper Assam in 2006. “Now it has spread to 27 districts of the State. We are concerned that it may reach epidemic proportions,” he said.

Sarma said JE vaccination coverage among children in Assam is very high and so fatality among kids has been low this year. However, in 2016, just after the BJP-led government came to power in Dispur, a rumour spread among members of a particular community that persons administered with the JE vaccine will turn infertile, he said, adding that it impacted the vaccination drive.

He said that fatality from JE this year has been highest in districts like Barpeta, Darrang, Dhubri and Goalpara. “JE has no treatment. Only vaccination can help… It can assume dangerous proportions in the days to come if vaccination drive is not strengthened,” Sarma said.

He said that a State-wide mass vaccination drive will be undertaken from November 1 and local task forces, headed by MLAs, will be set up.

 

Source: The Assam Tribune

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