Malkangiri: The number of deaths caused by Japanese encephalitis (JE) in the last 69 days mounted to 116 with three more children dying of the dreaded disease at the district headquarters hospital here Wednesday. The hospital sources, however, put the number of casualties at 96.
The victims were identified as Sahadev Padiami (3) of Simagudi village under this block, Shibani Padiami (4) of Potrel village and Kasturi Hantal (7) of Balimela town under Korukonda block.
On the other hand, health officials said of the 96 deaths, only 32 children have died of JE while the remaining kids succumbed to other ailments.
At present, three of the eight children, undergoing treatment after they developed JE symptoms, have been kept at the ICU of the hospital. So far, 328 children have been admitted to the hospital and 222 of them have been discharged after their successful treatment, DHH officials said.
Meanwhile, the health department is in a dilemma over the correct nomenclature of the disease from which the other children were suffering. After examining the blood samples, the district officials have zeroed in on two names- acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) and central nervous system (CNS) disorder.
A physician of the DHH has gone to Bhubaneswar with the blood samples while research scholars of Manipal University also collected blood samples for laboratory tests. The real name of the disease would be known following the receipt of the report from both the places, hospital sources said.
Though pigs were first said to be the carriers of this disease, later some experts suspected that consumption of seeds of a wild shrub locally known as ‘Bana Chakunda’ by children might have caused the disease. Seed samples have been sent out of the state for laboratory test and the report is awaited, it was learnt.