After a gap of over six months,the Health Department has again reported case of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in eastern districts of UP. While Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) still remains the major killer in the region,taking lives of as many as 125 children so far,Japanese Encephalitis a more virulent strain of the encephalitis virus has affected four patients in Gorakhpur,Kushinagar and Siddharthanagar districts of the state in the last one week.
As per the figures available from the Health Department,two cases of JE have been reported from Kushinagar and one each from Siddharthanagar and Gorakhpur last week. These are the first four cases of JE reported this year.
Special immunisation rounds against JE in the affected region was undertaken by the Centre last year,after which the JE vaccine was included in the routine immunisation for 35 districts of the state and has been regularly administered to children since then.
Health officials were very positive of the response of the vaccine in the region so far. However,the four cases and first death due to JE reported from Gorakhpur earlier this week has reconfirmed that the disease is far from wiped out from the region. Though JE is not completely wiped out from the region,it is still much under control. The vaccines are not 100 per cent effective and the immunisation of a child against JE virus,as against any virus,still depends on the nutrition he or she gets, maintained Dr Ramji Lal,Director,Medical and Health.
There are several cases of JE reported from Bihar as well. But the figures are still very low and it is still a wait-and-watch situation, said Dr MM Gore of National Institute of Virology,Pune.