Shillong: Health authorities in Meghalaya are keeping watch on any likelihood of the outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis in the state as the viral disease has claimed over 165 lives in neighbouring Assam, an official said on Thursday.

“Health officials have been asked to be vigilant on any symptomatic cases similar to JE,” Dy Director Health Services Dr B Mawlong told PTI.

She also said that there was no further detection of any suspected JE cases except for six cases detected from Ri-Bhoi district two days ago.

They are currently under observation at the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGHRIHMS) and are awaiting confirmation of the disease.

Mawlong who also heads the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme in the state informed that the test kits for JE procured from the Pune-based National Institute of Virology has arrived.

The kits have been handed over to the laboratory technicians where a thorough test will be conducted to confirm if the six cases are JE.

Mass awareness is on at full swing in at least six low lying districts in the state – five districts in the Garo Hills region and Ri-Bhoi district adjacent to Assam, she said.

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