With the death of two more children, the toll in Japanese Encephalitis outbreak today mounted to 56 in over a month in Odisha's tribal-dominated Malkangiri district.
Two children from Padia and Kalimela blocks died while undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of the district headquarters hospital here, taking the toll to 56, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Dr U S Mishra said.
Unconfirmed reports, however, put the toll at 59 due to the vector-borne disease which has affected around 99 villages spread over six blocks in the district.
At present, 12 children, afflicted with the disease were undergoing treatment at the district headquarters hospital and two of them were in the ICU in a serious condition, a senior district official said.
So far, 119 out of the 184 children admitted to the district headquarters hospital here with JE have been discharged after being cured, he said.
The deadly disease, which originates from pigs and spreads to humans, mostly children, through mosquitoes, had surfaced in the district around 39 days ago.
A large number of pigs have been isolated and shifted to over 140 specially set-up enclosures away from human habitations, while fogging and spraying of mosquito repellents have been intensified in more than 100 villages, the official said.
The state government has appointed a senior bureaucrat as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to monitor and oversee measures to check the spread of the deadly disease in Malkangiri, officials said.
Deputy Secretary of Panhayati Raj Department Nruparaj Sahu, who was earlier Sub-Collector in Malkangiri, has been appointed as the OSD.
He would camp in Malkangiri for two months for effective coordination among different departments to bring the situation under control, officials said.
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