Japanese Encephalitis Toll in WB Rises to 118

Japanese Encephalitis claimed the life of a 56-year-old man at the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital in the early hours today.

With his death, the toll from the disease in the state rose to 118 since January this year, West Bengal Health Services Director Biswaranjan Satpathy told PTI.

"The patient, Narayan Sarkar, passed away early today morning. He had tested positive for the JE virus, had a multi-organ failure and was taken to the Calcutta Medical College where he was put on ventilator last night. It is unfortunate that we could not save him despite all our efforts," Satpathy said.

Asked whether he would describe Sarkar's death as the first death due to JE in the city, the health official said, "We would not call it as the first death due to JE in the city because he was from Kalyani in Nadia district."

The patient, who was working in Assam, had been admitted in a Guwahati hospital where he tested positive for JE, Satpathy said.

From there Sarkar was taken to a Kalyani Hospital and was later referred to the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine (CSTM), he said.

"At first we took him to be a resident of Guwahati but today we came to know that he is from Kalyani and was working in Assam," Satpathy said.

Sarkar, was admitted to the CSTM on July 22 with high temperature and complaints related to diabetes.

Sarkar, his family members, said had been suffering from cardiac problems for a long time and was also a diabetic.

No fresh deaths nor any new cases of encephalitis were reported in the state in the last 24 hours and the situation was gradually coming under control, a senior government official said today.

"No new death because of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) has been reported in the last 24 hours," West Bengal Health Services Director Biswaranjan Satpathy told PTI.

"We have not received any report of new cases from any part of the state as well," he said adding that eight new suspected cases of JE were reported from north Bengal.

A panic-like situation was created in the northern part of the state as people, even with 'simple fever', were panicking and rushing to hospitals with blood samples fearing infection by the JE virus, Satpathy said.

Since January this year, there have been 118 encephalitis-related deaths in the state, he stated.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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