In the wake of the Japanese encephalitis outbreak in Assam, the union health ministry has decided to send a team of health experts to the state to assist and advise health authorities to deal with the outbreak.
Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda held a review meeting of ministry officials over the issue and directed the director general of health services to immediately rush a team of experts to Assam to assist and advise the state health authorities in clinical management of the cases, according to an official statement.
"All the necessary assistance is being provided to the state of Assam to handle this outbreak effectively," said Nadda.
"We are closely monitoring the situation and whatever additional help is required would be provided with immediate effect."
According to Nadda, ministry officials were in regular touch with the state health authorities.
"Sufficient number of testing kits have already been provided to the state," he said.
The additional director of the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Program is camping in Assam since July 22.
According to the statement, the ministry has already sanctioned funds for establishment of three pediatric intensive care units (ICUs) in district hospitals in Sivasagar, Golaghat and Lakhimpur and the health minister has advised the state government to operate these ICUs immediately.
In all, 365 Japanese encephalitis positive cases and 66 deaths have been reported from Assam so far this year.
More deaths have been reported from the upper Assam districts of Sivasagar (9), Dibrugarh (7), Jorhat (7) and Golaghat (4).
During the review meeting, it was also learnt that the majority of the victims were adults.
Twelve districts of Assam, including Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Golaghat have been covered under the adult vaccination campaign.
All the districts of the state have also been covered under the child (one to 15 years) vaccination campaign and routine immunization program.