All pigs to be screened in capital for Japanese Encephalitis virus

New Delhi: To check spread of Japanese Encephalitis in the city, Delhi Government o Wednesday ordered screening of all pigs which are primary reservoirs of virus causing the disease.

Health Minister A K Walia, at a meeting with top officials of his department as well as civic agencies, also issued direction for regular lifting of blood samples of pigs to ascertain prevalence of the virus.

Domestic pigs are primary reservoirs of the virus and the disease is mainly spread through mosquitoes belonging to Culex tritaeniorhynchus if they bite humans after drawing blood from infected pigs.

Seven cases of JE have been reported so far in the city. However, there was no death.

This is for the first time JE has been reported in the national capital although it is prevalent in many neighbouring states including Uttar Pradesh.

Walia said diagnostic facilities are being extended in eight more Delhi Government hospitals to offer treatment to people affected by the disease.

The hospitals where treatment for JE affected people will be available are Lok Nayak Hospital, Hindu Rao Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital, Sanajy Gandhi Memorial Hospital and Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya.

The treatment for the disease is already available in Babu Jagjiwan Ram Hospital, Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital and Mahrishi Balmiki Hospital.

The Minister also directed MCD to keep an eye on slaughter houses as an estimated 300 pigs are being slaughtered daily.

"The pigs coming from the neighbouring states are becoming cause of concern as out of 81 blood samples taken from pigs brought from outside Delhi in November, 17 showed positive for JE virus," said an official.

The meeting also decided to set up a slaughter house exclusively for pigs for which the MCD and DDA have been told to take necessary action.

Walia exhorted all agencies to remain vigilant and intensify surveillance on pigs coming from the other cities.


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