Mr Conrad asked health officials to conduct awareness including the Do’s and Dont’s about JE

Tura, June 20:  In view of the outbreak of the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in West Garo Hills District, the Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma today held an emergent meeting accompanied by Secretary Health, Senior Health Officials, JE Specialist along with the District Administration, Tura Municipal Board, Veterinary department at DRDA Hall, Tura to review the status and situation and necessary steps undertaken to control the spread of the disease in the district. The meeting was also attended by members of Locality Development Committees, Senior Citizens, Nokma Council, etc.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister Conrad Sangma reviewed the nature of the disease and precautionary measures undertaken by the concerned department in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Referring to the power point presentation which shows the increase in the number of JE cases in the district with 17 cases in 2016, 5 case and 1 death in 2017, 29 cases and 4 death in 2018 and 17 cases with 1 death till June 2019 in which 10 cases are from urban area, he said the trend is alarming and should be analysed seriously how to tackle this problem in future.

Further, he also directed the health officials to conduct aggressive IEC awareness programmes including the Do’s and Dont’s about JE to the people and also to carry out fogging of the vulnerable localities where cases have been found and then extend to other localities of the district and also to continue regular fogging of the localities afterwards. Mentioning about the effects of climate change in the region, he said that these vector borne diseases are more likely to increase in future.

Ttherefore, awareness is critical and should sensitize the people especially at the individual level to reduce mosquito density by avoiding mosquito breeding grounds in their surroundings and personal protection against mosquito bite by using bed-nets, use of mosquito repellent, vaccination, etc. Assuring support to the people of the area, he said that this is not the work of government only, but everyone as a society should come together and cooperate to prevent this situation in future.

Meanwhile, West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, Ram Singh informed the citizens not to panic about the outbreak of the disease since those patients who have tested positive might not show any symptoms but however, patients suffering from the disease or any suspected patient should take precaution and must be admitted in the hospital for observation and treatment.

He then directed the health officials and line departments to conduct massive awareness programs and also to check all the localities since rearing of pigs in not allowed in urban areas.
It may be mentioned that Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is a viral disease caused by Japanese Encephalitis (B) virus which is normally present in birds’ especially aquatic birds which is then transmitted through the amplifying host (pig or other cattle) to human by the bite of culex mosquito. The infection is transmitted only through the bite of infected female culex mosquito and there is no person to person transmission.

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