Much Dreaded Japanese Encephalitis Outbreak Feared in Uttarakhand

by Hannah Punitha on Sep 22 2008 7:52 PM

Doctors of Haldwani district in Uttarakhand fear an outbreak of the much-dreaded Japanese Encephalitis fever, as five patients complaining about fever have been admitted in a local hospital.

The medical officials have sent few blood samples of the infected patients to National Institute of Communicable diseases in New Delhi for examination.

The officials are eagerly awaiting the results so that they can ensure proper immunization before the disease grips the state.

"Few blood samples of the patients have been sent to Delhi under which three patients are from medical division and two are from forest division. After their reports come then only we will be in a state to say whether they are suffering from Japanese Encephalitis or not," said Balbir Chabbra, Medical Superintendent, Sushila Tiwari memorial forest hospital, Haldwani.

The symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis virus are seemingly mild, but the disease can cause meningitis and inflammation of the heart in newborn babies.

India's worst encephalitis outbreak in 2005 claimed over 1500 lives.

According to doctors, the death rate due to Japanese Encephalitis is 28-56 percent.

The deadly Japanese Encephalitis fever is caused by a virus found in pigs and wild birds and transferred to humans by mosquito bite. It affects the brain and causes headaches, convulsions, high fever and respiratory distress.

Many survivors are left mentally or physically handicapped.