The Health Ministry recently gave the Japanese encephalitis the â€˜notifiable diseaseâ€™ tag. Why?
It is a move towards better management of Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases across the country. JE is an important public health concern in the country accounting for substantial morbidity, mortality and disability. JE is caused by a mosquito-borne virus. Since the virus attacks the brain of the child, the chances of the child becoming mentally retarded are high.
By declaring JE as a notifiable disease healthcare providers will have to notify every JE case to the local authorities every week. In order to ensure early diagnosis and case management, reduce transmission, address the problems of emergency and spread of disease in newer geographical areas, it is essential to have complete information of all JE cases, and to that end notification of JE helps.
According to the notification, healthcare providers in every state shall notify every JE case to the local authorities ie. District health officer or Chief Medical Officer of the district concerned every week. The notification has been sent to the heads of state health departments of states and UTs.