Japanese Encephalitis (JE) or brain fever vaccination campaigns have begun in Karnataka schools, according to Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar.
Story so far: Children who suffer from JE fever may experience lasting impairment, such as mental retardation and nerve weakness. 48 lakh children, between the ages of 1 and 15, are to be immunised as part of this initiative. All medical facilities, Anganwadi centres, and other community centres have arrangements in place. The government will provide the vaccine free of charge.
- Ten districts in Karnataka, including Ballari, Raichur, Koppal, Vijayapura, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Mandya, Dharwad, Chitradurga, and Davangere, have been identified as endemic for JE.
- Children in these districts receive their first vaccination dose after nine months and their second dose after 1.5 years.
Average cases: Sudhakar, who expressed concern about permanent disability, claimed that 24 countries, including India, have identified JE. An average of 68,000 cases are recorded annually, with a death rate of 20–30% and intellectual disability in 30–50% of cases that are successfully treated.