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No Japanese encephalitis epidemic
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, Aug 9 (NPN):
Published on 10 Aug. 2009 12:50 AM IST
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Dispelling fears of an epidemic-like outbreak of Japanese encephalitis, District Malaria Officer (DMO), Dimapur, Dr Imcha clarified that Japanese encephalitis, caused by arbovirus, has not reached menacing proportions but that a few cases have been reported while authorities were already on alert. He also confirmed, that so far there has been only two confirmed deaths in the state due to Japanese encephalitis- one each form Tuli and Longchem under Mokochung district . He also pointed out that both victims were aged patients. Dr Imcha also pointed out that complications usually occur mostly in persons within the age group of 14-15 years. He also said that blood samples of five suspected cases collected in Zion hospital, four were tested positive of which two died. He said the reports of three blood samples collected each from Zion, Civil and Referral hospital have not been received from Delhi. Stating that symptoms of the disease do not necessarily result in death, Dr.Imcha gave an example of two persons suffering from the disease. He said both patients were released after being administered required medical treatment in the hospitals. He said the quantum of seriousness depended on the density of the virus in the infected person. As precautionary measures, Dr. Imcha advised use of mosquito nets and rear larvae eating fish wherever necessary. He also said stagnant water was one of the main contributing factors for spread of mosquitoes, which are the main transmitters of Japanese encephalitis. Regarding swine flu, he said till now there has been no report from anywhere in the state. He also disclosed that the Commissioner & Secretary along with other department officials would be having a meeting at the Medical Directorate on Monday to discuss about all the issues related to all these vector borne diseases. Since the specific type of mosquito carrying the Japanese encephalitis arbovirus frequently breeds in rice paddies, the disease is considered to be primarily a rural problem. The virus is transferred to a human when an infected mosquito sucks that person’s blood. Once in the body, the virus travels to various glands where it multiplies. The virus can then enter the bloodstream. Ultimately, the virus settles in the brain, where it causes serious problems.

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