Published Date: 2014-07-22 17:50:04
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Japanese encephalitis & other – India (13): (WB)
Archive Number: 20140722.2628448
JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS AND OTHER – INDIA (13): (WEST BENGAL)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Tue 22 Jul 2014
Source: MSN [edited]
Encephalitis has taken 42 lives in north Bengal in the past 2 days, taking the total toll to 102 till today [22 Jul 2014]. “Around 102 people have died so far,” West Bengal director of medical education (DME) Dr Susanta Banerjee told PTI here. The toll from encephalitis in north Bengal was 60 till Sunday. The DME said that it was a case of mixed infection with Japanese encephalitis [virus infections, JEV] being responsible for around 24 per cent of infection.
He sounded hopeful, however, that the number of deaths and affected people would come down gradually. “We are hopeful that the situation will come under control soon,” Banerjee said.
Banerjee said that the municipalities have been asked to maintain cleanliness and to do fogging of localities regularly to control the disease. “Awareness drives are also being taken to ensure cleanliness among individuals to prevent spread of the disease,” Banerjee said.
From 7 Jul 2014 till yesterday [21 Jul 2014], 60 people died of encephalitis in North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri, and the situation in the 7 north Bengal districts was described as “alarming” by state health services director Biswaranjan Satpathy.
Jalpaiguri district was the worst-hit, with rural areas in Dhupguri and Moynaguri being the most affected because of the presence of a large number of piggeries from where Japanese encephalitis spread [Pigs are amplifying hosts of JEV, and birds are the reservoirs of the virus. – Mod.TY].
Satpathy, who held a meeting of chief medical officers of North Bengal hospitals at Siliguri yesterday [21 Jul 2014], said the number of deaths due to Japanese encephalitis [virus infections] was much higher this year  than in 2013, when the figure was only 5. Last year , the number of those affected by encephalitis was 385, and the 115 had died due to it, he said.
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
[The number of encephalitis cases is increasing rapidly in North Bengal. The 15 Jul 2014 ProMED-mail post (archive no 20140717.2616015) reported 30 deaths from encephalitis in the North Bengal Medical College Hospital. On 21 Jul 2014, the number of fatal cases doubled to 60, and the above report, issued a day later, indicates that there are 102 cases.
Encephalitis with fever could be caused by various viruses, and the start of the monsoon season brings on the Japanese encephalitis virus transmission season. The above report indicates that Japanese encephalitis virus infections account for 24 per cent of the cases. There is not enough information provided to speculate on the etiological agent that might be involved the remaining 76 per cent of cases in this outbreak. West Bengal state neighbors Bihar state, which has had a significant number of encephalitis cases this year (2014). These cases in West Bengal may or may not be related to those that have been occurring in Bihar state.