About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Japanese Encephalitis Has So Far Claimed 185 Lives in India

by VR Sreeraman on August 26, 2007 at 3:32 PM
Font : A-A+

Japanese Encephalitis Has So Far Claimed 185 Lives in India

Japanese encephalitis has killed 185 people in India this year, the mosquito-borne disease claiming 115 lives in Assam alone, and a UN official has sought a more focussed immunization drive.

According to the health ministry, till Aug 16, nine states reported 837 cases of the disease commonly known as brain fever. Deaths were reported from four states.


Uttar Pradesh reported 383 cases, Assam 368, Goa 44, Tamil Nadu 17, Manipur 11, Karnataka and Haryana six each. Kerala and Andhra Pradesh reported one case each.

Among the patients was a Nepalese national who was diagnosed with Japanese encephalitis at the Gorakhpur Medical College of Uttar Pradesh, close to the Nepal border.

Japanese encephalitis can affect the central nervous system and cause severe complications like paralysis, coma and finally death.

According to the World Health Organisation, the disease is fatal in up to 30 percent cases and there is a possibility that those who survive may be disabled for life.

UN officials say India can do much more to battle the disease.

Said Marzio Babille, chief of health wing at the UNICEF office here: "India produces only a tenth of the vaccine doses required for the country. India has good expertise to produce desired vaccines but they need to prioritise them.

"A good national immunisation plan, adequate doses of vaccine, ability of the government to investigate thoroughly and carry out surveillance are a few things required to handle the disease," Babille told IANS.

He said though mosquito was the primary reason for Japanese encephalitis, yet horses and pigs were the reservoirs of its virus.

"Many rural people in Gorakhpur are living in close proximity to pigs, and this could be one of the reasons why many cases are reported from this district of Uttar Pradesh," the official said.

He added that lack of consistent focus in the immunisation drive in Assam was a key reason for the high mortality in the state.

Of the 185 deaths, the highest toll was in Assam (115) and Uttar Pradesh was next with 65. While three people died in Haryana, two succumbed to the fever in Manipur.

Babille, however, said that the number of deaths across India had gone down and efforts must now be made to reach "zero mortality level".

A health ministry official said the main bottleneck in tackling the disease was a "cocktail of lack of awareness among our rural population and vaccine".

He said the most affected state of Uttar Pradesh had established a regional office of the health and family welfare department at Gorakhpur with support from the central government.

"The aim is to strengthen epidemiological and entomological surveillance in the eastern belt of Uttar Pradesh," he said.

Authorities said they have extended the Japanese encephalitis vaccination programme from 11 districts across four states in 2006 to 29 endemic districts across nine states.

Source: IANS

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
What You Should Know about Japanese Encephalitis Meningitis Cat Scratch Disease Zika Fever Encephalitis 

Recommended Reading
Immunization in Children - Japanese B Encephalitis Vaccine, Meningococccal A & C Vaccines
The need for these vaccines in our country should be based on epidemiology considerations, which, .....
Cat Scratch Disease
Cat scratch disease (CSD) is a self-limiting infection that spreads through contact with cats....
Encephalitis is the inflammation of the brain, mostly caused by viruses. Though rare, it is a seriou...
Meninges are the three layers of membrane that cover the brain and infection of the cerebrospinal fl...
What You Should Know about Japanese Encephalitis
Japanese encephalitis is a mosquito borne viral disease associated with inflammation of the brain....
Zika Fever
Zika virus is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes which causes mild fever with maculopapula...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use