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Encephalitis claims two in Kokrajhar

Kokrajhar, July 18: Japanese encephalitis claimed two lives in Kokrajhar district this year so far while two other persons are being treated for the disease.

Dr A.M. Phukan, the superintendent of Rupnath Brahma Memorial Civil Hospital, Kokrajhar, said two persons, including a minor, died of the disease in the district in the past two months. Joya Mochahary, 24, of Kaliphukri Latagaon died on June 23 and Chanikya Brahma, 14, of Choraikhola Samtaibari died on July 2, the day he was admitted.

Two others — Mukti Devnath, 40, and Devojit Barman, 5 — affected by Japanese encephalitis are also undergoing treatment.

“The incidence of Japanese encephalitis is on the rise in the district. In the past three years, 10 people have died of the disease and 20 have tested positive,” said Dr Amol Mushahary, the district surveillance officer.

He said in 2011, seven people tested positive to Japanese encephalitis among 25 acute encephalitis syndrome cases and four, among those positive, died. In 2012, of 32 cases eight were tested positive to Japanese encephalitis, and three of them died.

“This year, we have reported two deaths and two others have been detected with the disease. There could also be other cases of acute encephalitis syndrome reported in Kokrajhar,” he said.

Bimol Pradan, an officer of the department, said vaccination is partly complete and the awareness camps will continue for some days.

Neighbouring Bongaigaon district reported a case of Japanese encephalitis. One person died this morning at Lower Assam Bongaigaon Hospital.

Mushahary said vaccination is the only way to arrest the spread of the virus.

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