Updated: July 1, 2019 6:44:21 am
Assam has so far recorded 10 deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) this year, Samir Sinha, Principal Secretary to the state government’s Health and Family Welfare department told The Indian Express on Sunday. Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has dispatched a central team to the state to review the situation there.
Sinha said those killed in the outbreak this year comprise eight adults and two children. “We are completely in command. Monitoring, immunisation and treatment is on in full swing. It is a recurring phenomenon in Assam and if you compare numbers from previous years, you will see that this year, the numbers of cases diagnosed and deaths are quite less. Every possible step is being taken,” he added.
Doctors in Guwahati say the vaccination for Japanese Encephalitis — a major cause of AES in India — has brought down the number of patients over the years and government data shows that there has been a decline in the number of deaths — 100 in 2012 to 58 in 2017.
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Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said he is closely monitoring the situation and the Centre is providing all logistic and technical support to the state government in terms of surveillance and diagnostic kits to strengthen their efforts in addressing the outbreak. Noting that community participation and empowerment are crucial in prevention of the disease,
Dr Harsh Vardhan urged all the stakeholders to start rigorous awareness campaigns regarding preventive steps to be taken.
The central team is headed by Shri Sanjeeva Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and is accompanied by senior officers from National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, New Delhi.
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