THE NATIONAL Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday served notice to the Malkangiri district administration and the health secretary of Odisha as the death toll due to Japanese Encephalitis rose to 30 in just about a month.
Asking the officials to submit a detailed report, including steps being taken by them, within four weeks, the NHRC said there was an urgent need to create awareness among villagers over the tradition of rearing pigs.
Though officials are taking steps to contain the epidemic, two-year-old Priya Madkami of Badali under Korukonda
block died on Monday night. Three-year-old Dinesh Padiami of Namkonda under Kalimela block and a two-year-old girl of Uskapali in Korukonda block died at the Malkangiri district headquarters hospital on Tuesday. The condition of four more children is said to be critical.
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The Japanese Encephalitis virus, which develops in pigs, is transmitted by mosquitoes to humans.
Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Health Secretary Arati Ahuja and Animal Husbandry Secretary Bishnupada Sethi, who visited Malkangiri Monday, said a committee would be formed at the district level to tackle the disease.
“The district administration has planned to isolate pigs infected by Japanese Encephalitis. We have held a meeting
with sarpanches, ward members, samiti members, block chairmen and block-level authorities for isolating the pigs in the affected villages,” said Nayak.
Ahuja said that as the disease has no treatment, the emphasis is on stopping the disease from spreading.