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Japanese Encephalitis death toll increases to 39 in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, Oct 8 (IANS) The toll due to Japanese Encephalitis disease has gone up to 39 in Odisha’s Malkangiri district, an official said on Saturday.

Taking a review meeting here, Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said while 116 persons were undergoing treatment apprehending they might be suffering from the disease, more than 25 others have returned home after recovery.

He said a team of nine doctors and staff nurses have gone to the affected villages to take stock of the situation and treat those affected by the disease.

The minister, however, said they could not carry out the vaccination process to prevent the disease at this juncture.

The Union Health Ministry, in a reply to a letter from the state government over the outbreak of the disease, has said it will be futile to undertake vaccination in the affected areas now.

According to the ministry the vaccination programme will backfire if carried out now and such a programme can only be undertaken prior to the outbreak, said Nayak.

He also said the government expects to carry out the vaccination process in November this year.

Meanwhile, a central control cell has been set up to tackle the situation even as the state government is seriously contemplating to go for mass culling of infected pigs to check the situation.

The Malkangiri district administration has kept about 2,400 pigs in an enclosure, away from the affected villages.

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