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Japanese Encephalitis affects four more, MCD clueless about origins

The agency has decided to collect samples from at least 500 pigs and send them to National Research Centre for Equines at Hisar

Last year it was Super bug NDM-1 that spread panic, and now the deadly Japanese Encephalitis is ready to claim the city. Already 14 people in the Capital have been affected but fortunately, there are no casualties as yet.

Two more tested positive on Monday, taking the number of patients suffering from the disease to 14. Despite the alarming figure, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is clueless about the origin of the disease. "We are still not able to trace the virus. Though we have been collecting the blood samples of pigs in the city, we have nothing concrete as yet," said Dr V K Monga, chairman, health committee, MCD. According to officials, the Central and state governments have joined hands to fight against the disease.

"We held a meeting with various Health department officials on Monday. Now we are going to expand the screening process further and samples will be collected from at least 500 pigs, which will then be sent to the National Research Centre for Equines at Hisar in Haryana for tests," said Dr Monga.

Surprisingly, the civic agency said it was too difficult to find the exact cause of the disease, blaming it on the size of the sample and other factors. "The size of the sample survey is too small as compared to the disease and its effect. A pig is a very robust animal. It is not easy to catch their sample. We have finally decided to take the samples of slaughtered pigs first, in order to find the anti-body," said Dr Monga. Japanese Encephalitis, common in the neighbouring states, has surfaced for the first time in the city.

Dengue update
Another 19 people have tested positive for dengue virus, raising the number of cases in the Capital to 776. "Chikungunya cases too are rising. Last year at this time, the number of cases was 33 and it is 44 this year," said Dr V K Monga, chairman of MCD's public health committee.

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