Odisha Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak today visited the areas where Japanese encephalitis has claimed at least 27 lives so far and said preventive steps are being taken to contain the disease.
The death toll due to Japanese encephalitis increased to 27 with six children falling prey to the disease since Sunday, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) U S Mishra said.
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The outbreak of the disease in 21 villages under six blocks of the district was reported last month and affected mostly children. While the deaths have taken place in about 25 days, around five patients are now undergoing treatment in a hospital, he said.
Nayak, who visited the district along with Secretary to Health Department, Arti Ahuja and Secretary to Animal Resources Department, Bishnupad Sethi, said measures required to deal with the situation are beign taken.
Since mosquitoes are the vector for the disease which spreads from pigs to humans, mostly children, the immediate task is to isolate the animals and relocate the pig farms away from the villages. Necessary steps in this regard are being taken, he said.
While a team of doctors and experts had been sent earlier to the affected areas to take stock of the situation, another expert team was sent there on Sunday. They would camp there and plan various measures required to deal with the situation, he added.
A team of veterinary doctors are also being sent to the disease affected areas to identity the infected pigs.
Health assistance booths have been opened in the affected areas, while fogging work was intensified to control mosquitoes, official sources said.
Blood samples of pigs are also being sent to laboratory for thorough examination, they added.