Health department monitoring JE in Nagaland

Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, JUN 6 (NPN) | Publish Date: 7/6/2019 11:49:20 AM IST

With 49 deaths due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in Assam till July 5, Nagaland’s Health department has allayed fears by pointing out that so far there has been no reported case of JE and dengue in Nagaland till date.

This was stated by chief medical officer (CMO) Dimapur, Dr. K Vikato Kinimi, Friday while talking with Nagaland Post. Dr. Kinimi said that the department was closely monitoring the situation and that all preventive measures were being taken.

The CMO informed that vaccination for JE was available in all government health units. He also informed that diagnostic services for JE with Elisa kits have been made available in the district hospitals. Dr. Kinimi said that all private hospitals have already been directed to send samples to the district hospital for confirmatory report. 

Further, Dr. Kinimi said that in order to prevent risk of “dangerous” JE epidemic, people should take measures in keeping the surrounding clean and get rid of stagnant water to prevent breeding of mosquitoes and also to avoid mosquito bites. 

The CMO further reminded people that the DMC had issued order on conducting mass social work for removal of stagnant water every Saturday in view of the starting of the transmission period for Vector Borne Disease (Malaria, Dengue and Japanese Encephalitis).

According to Dr. Kinimi, in the year 2016, though there were 18 suspected JE cases yet there had been no confirmed case. Again, in 2017, he said of 43 suspected cases, eight were confirmed and two deaths reported. In 2018, he said out of 25 suspected cases, only one was confirmed but no death reported. 

CMO said that the preventive measures against JE was to use of insecticide treated bed-net, introduce larvivorous fish in water bodies, clear stagnant water and avoid sleeping near any pigsty. 

According to Dr. Kimimi other measures such as fogging was not advisable until and unless it was epidemic.

JE virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Culex species mosquitoes, particularly Culex tritaeniorhynchus. The virus is maintained in a cycle between mosquitoes and vertebrate hosts, primarily pigs and wading birds. Wild birds are likely to be the natural hosts of JEV, and mosquitoes are the vectors. A vector does not cause disease but passes it on.

When mosquitoes infect an animal, the animal might become a carrier of the virus. When other mosquitoes feed on these animals that have newly acquired the virus, they take it on board and infect other animals. 

JE virus infection may result in febrile illness of variable severity associated with neurological symptoms ranging from headache to meningitis or encephalitis. Symptoms can include headache, fever, meningeal signs, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, paralysis (generalized), hypertonia, loss of coordination, etc. Transmission can occur year-round, often with a peak during the rainy season.

People are at the highest risk in rural areas where the virus is common. Japanese encephalitis is common around towns and cities. It is more likely to affect children because adults in areas where the virus is endemic generally become immune as they get older. 


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