GUWAHATI, July 16 - State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today informed that 131 Japanese Encephalitis/ Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (JE/ AES) related deaths have been reported in the State this year till Saturday.“Till yesterday, 305 positive cases of JE have been reported of which 44 have died. Similarly, 1,111 AES cases have been reported of which 87 have died,” he said.
Last year, of the 1,713 AES cases, 187 people had died and of the 427 JE cases, 92 had died.
The Health Minister said the government has decided to carry out the JE vaccination throughout the year.
“We will increase the number of doses to two from this year. Studies have shown that single doses are not enough. The success rate of single doses in 85 per cent,” he said.
Referring to incidents in some places where people were reluctant to take the vaccines due to rumours, Sarma said of late people are coming forward.
“We are adopting a soft approach. We have not set any timeframe. Focus has been given on creating more awareness…and people have started coming forward to take the vaccination,” he said.
He blamed “so-called” religious leaders for launching a campaign against the vaccination drive. “Some political parties are also playing the game,” he alleged.