Home / News / India /  Karnataka to vaccinate 48 lakh children against Japanese Encephalitis
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To prevent the rise of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) cases among children, the Karnataka government will vaccinate around 48 lakh children of age between 1-15 years from Monday, said the State Health Minister K Sudhakar.

He also informed that the Karnataka government will conduct a three-week-long special vaccination drive for children. Japanese Encephalitis causes brain fever which is the result of an infection or an allergic reaction. Children will be inoculated with the Jenvac vaccine during the special vaccination drive. The vaccination will be supplied by the Union Health Ministry.

"JE is one of the most common causes of Encephalitis in India and a total of 68,000 cases are reported every year. Among these, the death rate is around 20 to 30 per cent. Among those who are cured, 30 to 50 per cent of people end up with sensory and motor weakness, and other permanent physical and mental disabilities," Sudhakar said.

The first week of vaccination will focus on Private and government schools. The vaccination drive will focus on government health institutions like Anganwadi centres for the next two days.

Brain fever is caused by Flavivirus

Japanese Encephalitis is caused when a person is infected by a virus known as flavivirus. The disease is transmitted from one person to another by Culex mosquitoes. The virus is mainly found in pigs and wild birds which are known as amplifier hosts. Humans are the dead end of the virus. Initial symptoms of the fever include headache, fever, and vomitting. This may expand to a movement disorder, neurological symptoms, weaknesses, etc.

Karnataka's 10 endemic districts of brain fever

The JE universal immunisation program identifies 10 districts of the state as endemic districts for Japanese Encephalitis virus. They are Ballari, Raichur, Koppal, Vijayapur, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Mandya, Dharwad, Chitradurga, and Davanagere. In these districts, children between the age of 9 months to 1.5 years are inoculate with the first and second doses of the vaccine.

In addition to the identified endemic districts, the Japanese Encephalitis campaign will also be conducted in other districts like Bagalkote, Dakshina Kannada, Gadag, Hassan, Haveri, Kalaburgi, Tumkur, Ramanagara, Udupi, and Yadgiri. However, the campaign will be conducted during the JE non-transmission period in these districts. At that time, only one dose is inoculated to the children aged between 1 to 15 years.

(With inputs from PTI)

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