Japanese Encephalitis under control: Odisha Health Minister

Bhubaneswar, Nov 15 (IANS) Even as 93 children have succumbed to Japanese Encephalitis in Malkangiri so far, Odisha Health Minister Pradip Amat on Tuesday said the deadly outbreak was under control.

Out of 162 children admitted in the District Headquarter Hospital, 32 succumbed to the Japanese Encephalitis while 61 children died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and other reasons, said the Minister after holding a review meeting on the situation.

He said the situation is under control in the district.

He said 17 children are undergoing treatment at the District Headquarter Hospital in Malkangiri.

Out of them, six were in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) while 11 were undergoing treatment in the Encephalitis ward, he added.

Amat said 180 villages in seven blocks of the district were affected by the vector-borne disease.

While the state government has distributed 15,000 Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITMN), the Centre is yet to provide ITMN to the state for distribution among the people, said the Health Minister.

He said that vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis would begin in Malkangiri district by December.

The disease, which originates from pigs and spreads to humans, mostly children, through mosquitoes, surfaced in the district in September.

The Odisha unit of BJP on Tuesday hit out at the state government for denying security to Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan during his visit to Maoist-infested Malkangiri district on Monday.

The party said it was a political conspiracy of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

“We visited the Japanese Encephalitis-affected villages without police security. The state government should have at least maintained the security protocol provided to the Union minister,” said senior BJP leader K.V. Singhdeo.