Rashmi Ranjan

The fear of suspected Japanese encephalitis outbreak loomed large after four more inmates of Purubai Kanyashram at Soro in Balasore were shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) after their health condition worsened on Monday night. 

Earlier on Monday, five students of the Kanyashram reportedly tested positive for the viral brain infection and shifted to the DHH along with two other inmates of the institution.

Samples of 26 inmates of the residential school undergoing treatment were sent for the test of which five samples returned positive.

It is worthwhile to mention here that, three inmates of the Kanyashram suddenly fall sick and were admitted to the hospital. Later, 24 more students of the institution suffered diarrhoea and severe headache and were admitted to Soro Hospital. 

However, a Class 10 student from Dahanimara area in NIlagiri died on Saturday while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Meanwhile, the family members of the deceased girl student brought serious allegations and accused the Kanyashram officials of not informing them about the death. 

It can be mentioned here that a severe outbreak of Japanese encephalitis (JE) and acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) with high case fatality was reported from Malkangiri district of Odisha in September-November 2016 affecting 336 children with 103 deaths.

What is Japanese Encephalitis?

Japanese encephalitis is a viral brain infection caused by mosquito bites. 

The virus belongs to the same genus as dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses.

JEV is the main cause of viral encephalitis in many countries of Asia with an estimated 68 000 clinical cases every year.

(Reported by Niranjan Behera, OTV)