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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

India : Japanese Encephalitis affects four more, MCD clueless about origins

Via Mid Day, excerpt :

" The agency has decided to collect samples from at least 500 pigs and send them to National Research Centre for Equines at Hisar

Last year it was Super bug NDM-1 that spread panic, and now the deadly Japanese Encephalitis is ready to claim the city. Already 14 people in the Capital have been affected but fortunately, there are no casualties as yet.

Two more tested positive on Monday, taking the number of patients suffering from the disease to 14. Despite the alarming figure, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is clueless about the origin of the disease. "We are still not able to trace the virus. Though we have been collecting the blood samples of pigs in the city, we have nothing concrete as yet," said Dr V K Monga, chairman, health committee, MCD. According to officials, the Central and state governments have joined hands to fight against the disease.

"We held a meeting with various Health department officials on Monday. Now we are going to expand the screening process further and samples will be collected from at least 500 pigs, which will then be sent to the National Research Centre for Equines at Hisar in Haryana for tests," said Dr Monga.

Surprisingly, the civic agency said it was too difficult to find the exact cause of the disease, blaming it on the size of the sample and other factors. "The size of the sample survey is too small as compared to the disease and its effect. A pig is a very robust animal. It is not easy to catch their sample."

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