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Mizoram, Tripura gear up to prevent JE entry from Assam

 AIZAWL, July 11 - The Mizoram Government is planning mass awareness drives and screening of visitors from Assam to prevent an outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in the State, a senior Health department official said Thursday.

 The steps are being taken after the disease killed 64 people and infected over 200 in neighbouring Assam, with which Mizoram shares a 123 km-long porous border.

The senior Health official said that though no case of JE infection has been reported in Mizoram, the efforts are being taken to prevent a possible entry from Assam.

“Mizoram is particularly vulnerable to JE as Culex, carrier of the disease, is the most populous mosquito species in the State. Steps will be taken to reduce their population,” Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma, the State nodal officer of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), said.

The Culex mosquito species gets infected from pigs, birds and other animals, Lalmalsawma said.

The Tripura Health department has also launched an awareness campaign on Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in the State after outbreak of the disease in neighbouring Assam, a senior official said on Thursday.

Health secretary Dr Debasish Basu said, “We have informed all the Chief Medical Officers of the districts to remain alert about the spread of JE after the disease affected some parts of neighbouring Assam. We have also directed our officials to create awareness about it.”

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of North Tripura district, Dr Jagdish Nama said on June 15 one patient was found infected with JE at Damcherra, a remote tribal hamlet in the district.

“We visited the patient’s locality. We started awareness camps in the area and other adjacent areas. We have also alerted our staff in various primary health centres in our district to keep a close watch on the situation”, he told reporters. – PTI

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