Japanese Encephalitis Death Toll Mounts To 44 In Odisha’s Malkangiri

**Malkangiri**: As tribals in remote pockets of Malkangiri district of Odisha are killing pigs to control the spread of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) disease, the vector-borne disease has claimed two more lives on Sunday taking death toll to 44.
According to reports, 44 kids have succumbed to the deadly disease in the last 31 days.

The deceased were identified as Dasarathi Naik (2) of Dangaraguda and Juli Kabas (2) of Kalakunda under Padia block of the tribal-dominated district.

Following this, the Malkangiri Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) has suspended two villager health workers on charges of dereliction of duty.
The two health workers are Subal Mistri and Biswanath Patra of Badali and Palkonda villages.

Though the disease has taken an epidemic form with all the kids dying in a span of 31 days, state government rejected demands to go for immunisation currently.
Health Minister Atanu S Nayak had said, “We cannot go for immunisation now as per the directive of the Centre. It (immunisation) has been counter-productive during the transmission period of the disease”. The State government had sought permission from the Union Health Ministry to go for immunisation.

“We have sent all necessary medicines and equipment including, doctors, staff nurses, laboratory technicians”, said Shalini Pandit, Managing Director, National Health Mission (NHM).

On Saturday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had said the State Government is in constant touch with the Centre and has taken all possible measures to contain the disease from spreading to other areas of Malkangiri district.

It’s worthwhile to mention here that the pigs are the host of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). It gets transmitted from pigs to mosquitoes and further from mosquitoes to human beings.