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By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews


In the state of Assam in northeastern India, the Japanese encephalitis (JE) situation has got to the point that the Union minister of health and family welfare (MoHFW) sent a team to the state to review the situation.

As of Monday, at least 22 people have died, while 59 positive cases of JE have been detected, in Assam so far, as per reports.

MoHFW said, “I am closely monitoring the situation. The health ministry is coordinating with the government of Assam for prevention and management of JE to ensure that cases don’t rise in the state.”

JE has been a major cause of concern for the Assam health department. In 2013, 134 people died of JE, 165 died in 2014, 135 in 2015, 92 in 2016, 87 in 2017 and 94 in 2018.

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is the most important cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. About 68,000 clinical cases are reported annually. It usually occurs in rural or agricultural areas, often associated with rice farming.

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JE virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Culex species mosquitoes, particularly Culex tritaeniorhynchus.

Most JE virus infections are mild (fever and headache) or without apparent symptoms, but approximately 1 in 250 infections results in severe disease characterized by rapid onset of high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, seizures, spastic paralysis and death. The case-fatality rate can be as high as 30% among those with disease symptoms.

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