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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday sent a fact finding team to Keonjhar after three children died due to suspected Japanese Encephalitis in Keonjhar in past ten days.

The team led by party’s former MP Ananta Nayak will visit the villages to which the deceased children belonged and will take a stock of the situation. On return, it will submit a report to the party chief here.

Sources said the children had shown symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis.

The deaths have sent shock waves in the district after media reports suggest that the deadly vector-borne disease had claimed as many as 94 lives so far. Though the State government has put the figure at 30, the toll could be much higher given the fact that blood samples of 361 children tested so far, including 261 admitted to the district hospital, showed 112 children positive for JE virus.

Government officials said of the total death cases, only 30 were confirmed cases of JE while teh remaining died of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). Doctors say AES is a broad-spectrum disease that may or may not be caused by a virus but normally starts with fever and has symptoms such as confusion and disorientation.

Officials said, they are gearing up to vaccinate more than 26 lakh children in Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Jajpur districts against JE from December 1.

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