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Bhubaneswar: At least 102 children have died in Odisha's Malkangiri district due to Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome so far, Health Minister Pradip Amat said on Monday.

Replying to a written question in the state assembly, the Health Minister said that out of 102 child deaths in Malkangiri district, 37 were due to Japanese Encephalitis.

"All necessary steps have been undertaken by the state government to curb the outbreak of the disease," the Minister said.

He said while health awareness activities have been conducted at all levels, trained doctors and nurses were deployed to district headquarter hospitals for efficient case management.

Amat said pigs and piglets have been isolated 2.5 km away from the human habitation and their blood samples have been screened for Japanese Encephalitis virus infection with the help of veterinary departments.

Meanwhile, the vaccination drive against the deadly Japanese Encephalitis started on Monday in Malkangiri.

A total number of 175 teams are prepared in the district. Control rooms are set up in the district and at block-levels along with 11 emergency teams. The programme would be carried out from 8 a.m to 3 p.m. everyday for 15 days.

A total 2,18,027 children aged between 1 and 15 years have been identified for the vaccination, said a health department official.

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